The Silver Tsunami: 6 Strategies to Seize the Tidal Wave of Opportunity
// By Daniel Fell //
How should hospitals and health care delivery systems think about serving the growing “senior” population? How can health systems better leverage data and technology to meet the needs of consumers and caregivers who will be using health care services at the highest rate over the next several decades?
Not that many years ago, you would commonly find “senior services” programs in almost every hospital across the country. But somewhere along the way, despite the demographic trends confronting the health care industry that clearly point to a seismic shift among the health care population — mainly the fact that there are now more than 10,000 baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) turning 65 years of age every day — the industry lost its focus on “seniors” as a key stakeholder audience. Instead, perhaps caught up in a millennial craze, the health care industry turned its attention toward younger audiences.
But the baby boom generation will, by all accounts, redefine the health care industry for the next few decades. This generation will begin to use health care services in greater volume than even the generation that preceded it. And this generation will have the most consumer-centric mindset of any U.S. health care population before them — more price sensitive, more quality conscious, and more customer service aware. This may very well be the most defining generation of true health care “shoppers” that the industry has ever encountered.
So what should health care provider organizations do to seize this demographic tidal wave of opportunity today? That is the question my colleagues and I tackled at the recent HCIC Conference in Orlando, Florida in September. Mainly, how should hospitals and health care delivery systems think about serving the growing “senior” population, particularly as it relates to technology and digital connectivity within health care? How can health systems better leverage data and technology to meet the needs of consumers and caregivers who will be using health care services at the highest rate over the next several decades?
Here are six strategies that we observed leading health care systems engaging in around the county that demonstrate a heightened awareness for the importance of this audience along with some details on their proactive efforts to better engage and serve this population.