Columbus, OH– Our recent millennial report has spurred a lot of thought-provoking conversations and revealing insights. Among the great feedback that we have had the pleasure of receiving, we have been provided (thanks Emily King) even more insight into millennial health preferences from a recent  online survey by practice management consultancy firm Software Advice. And in fact, much of their findings are aligned with our own report.

The lead objective behind Software Advice’s online survey was to find out if new models of care such as shared decision making, open notes, and shared appointments that are intended to increase patients’ engagement with their medical care were in fact, effective.

Let’s break down some of these new models:


Shared medical appointments: Often called group visits and involve attending an extended (60-90 minute) medical appointment with 10 to 15 other patients and one or more physicians.

Open notes: A policy that allows patients to view the medical notes doctors take about them during visitsm which includes accessing those notes from home.

Shared decision-making: Involves the doctor and patient evaluating multiple treatment options and deciding together on the best course of action.


“While engagement is an issue for patients of all ages, millennials have been identified as a group that is especially difficult to please in a healthcare setting since they want often delaying seeking care for a medical issue because they view the process as inconvenient and irritating.” -Software Advice 

To millennials, healthcare is “sick care.” This basic idea has been one of the central drivers that fueled our report and has led us toward entirely new ways of approaching healthcare marketing and the millennial generation as a whole. This reactive approach of patching themselves up when they are ailing is leaving them with questions unanswered and in turn, exploring innovative new options for taking healthcare into their own hands.

Millennials are explorers. Not explorers in the sense that they are backpacking Europe on the weekends (not that many of them are able to fund a nice trip to Cleveland), but explorers in the sense that they are proactively seeking out new options for their own health and wellness. As the data collected from Software Advice’s survey shows, offering more options for treatment is one of the leading ways in which millennials believe physicians can improve patient engagement.

Key survey findings:

  • 77% of the millennials surveyed responded that their provider could do more to improve their level of engagement.
  • If offered shared decision-making, 84% anticipated that their satisfaction with their care would improve, and 83% said it would increase their engagement.
  • Given the option of open-notes, 77% believed that their satisfaction levels would increase, and 75% said it would improve their involvement with their care.
  • Nearly 80% of patients reported that their doctors could do more to improve their level of involvement in their medical care.

The traditional model of care may work for a lot of the population. But for the influential millennial demographic, just because something works, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option, or an option that works for everyone. These findings voice that millennials are underwhelmed with traditional care options and that it may take throwing out the long-established playbook for patient care to reconnect with this generation.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.