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Without a doubt, Baby Boomers -- all 77 million of them -- are going to influence how and where healthcare is delivered in the U.S. in the next 20 years.

But right next to them are the Millennials. And there's 92 million of them.

They are the people in this country who were born between 1980 and 2000. There's been rapid change in the years they've grown up, which has created a unique set of expectations and priorities.

What does that mean for healthcare facility design?

Lots has been written and said about Millennials, but here's some characteristics identified by Goldman Sachs Investment Research that may have an impact on the design and construction of healthcare facilities in this country.

1. Marriage & Family

They are getting married and having children later. Does that mean we're on the brink of another baby boom?  If so, can our hospitals handle an increase in labor and delivery patients?

2. Shared Economy

Millennials are reluctant to buy things like cars, music, and luxury items, preferring instead to get access to products without owning them. This "shared economy" may reinforce the need for convenience and easy access to healthcare services.  After all, if you don't have a car, how far are you willing to go on an Uber ride to visit your doctor?

3. Technology

Their affinity for technology is re-shaping the retail space -- and just about everything else.  Millennials price-compare and shop around online before making a decision. Expect them to do the same for healthcare services, where possible. And they may be more comfortable with virtual visits or diagnosis than showing up in person.

4. Wellness

Millennials are focused on wellness.  They exercise more, eat healthier, and smoke less than Boomers or Gen Xers. They are using apps to track health data.  And they are willing to spend more on brands that appeal to them. A hospital or clinic that is LEED-certified may mean more to them.

More Observations About Millennials

Some other interesting observations about Millennials from CADRE's "Clinic 20xx Report" based on a survey of patients a few years ago:

  • Gen-Xers and Millennials rely on prior experiences rather than physician recommendations that the Boomers follow
  • Gen-Xers and Millennials are skeptics and need more information
  • Across all generations, there is a need for instant gratification
  • Millennials also have very little brand loyalty

CADRE researchers concluded that patients don't want to be called customers, but that across all generations, patients want similar things from their clinic experience:

  • They are attracted by convenience, affordability, and reputation
  • Low waiting times, patient/provider relationships, follow-up care, cleanliness/hygiene, care coordination, streamlined registration, wi-fi access retain them.
  • Cleanliness and hygiene are important to patients in selecting a clinic
  • They want same-day appointments and walk-in appointments with a wait time of less than 30 minutes
  • Boomers who were surveyed value a quiet environment and are open to waiting an hour; Millennials want 24/7 access, online registration, and a spa-like environment

Want More?

Join Sarah Bader, Managing Director of Gensler's Chicago office and I for a lively discussion of trends at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Orlando.  Sign up for our interactive session at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, November 12.

Be prepared to share your ideas and opinions!

P.S. Please do me a favor -- if you liked this post and like this blog, please share it with others by sending them the link or posting it on your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Also, don't forget to subscribe, so you'll get emails when new content is posted. Thanks!

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Leave a comment

Jan Sitchler

7 years ago

Very interesting points about shopping and buying preferences of millennials. I am definitely not a millenial or a typical boomer, but I like to search the internet as well for comparisons of quality and price. Love your blog!

Sara Marberry_013-Retouched-New copy

What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

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