I watched a video on Mashable this a.m. with the CEO of DoSomething.org, Ms. Nancy Lubin. It was a video interview where Ms. Lubin discusses some of the work her organization is doing with teenagers – how they behave, communication trends, etc.

At first glance this might not seem to offer much useful, relevant information in getting more patients in the door for my clients, but after a second cup of coffee, what Ms. Lubin had to say got me thinking.  Do I need to pay more attention to the methods that future generations of patients prefer to receive information?

Most offices I represent are still very old school.  Heck, they’re excited over being able to send email and starting a website or Facebook page.  Most of them still have forms that the patient is required to fill out while sitting in the waiting room.  They think that having those same forms available to print and bring to your appointment is advanced.

But with the next generation of patient right around the corner and early adopters expecting a different patient experience, what should savvy marketers and practice administrators be considering?  For one, Ms. Lubin reinforced that today’ teens are much savvier than you or I ever were (not a big revelation).  Their number one form of communication is text-based with statistics showing a 100% open-rate and a very high action-rate. Translation: when you send a teen a text that they actually care about, they will not only open it but will do something about it.  Lubin goes on to discuss how teenagers are not only using technology more but that they are also up to date about current privacy standards, online protections, etc.

I’m not implying that medical practices need to be texting teenage patients in order to influence behavior, but I do think it’s important that you consider how your patients (all of them) prefer and expect to receive information.  I get it all the time, “Why do I need to embrace social media?”  The answer is simple: because your patients are not using a big yellow book to find you.  You need to be where your patients are if you expect to get them in the door.