When it comes to generational stereotypes, there is an assumption that millennials are addicted to their cellphones. If we examine the facts, however, we can see that baby boomers use smartphones just as much as millennials:
- Over 61 million people are enrolled in Medicare; that’s approximately 18% of the US population. The “Baby Boomer Generation” (those born between 1946 and 1964) comprises around 73 million people. By 2030, all baby boomers will be aged 65 or over and enrolled in Medicare- that figure represents around 21% of the US population.
- This growing number is expected to have a profound effect on the healthcare industry. As people age, they are more likely to utilize healthcare services. Official figures suggest that 6 in 10 American adults have a chronic disease, and an estimated 4 in 10 are living with two chronic diseases. Those numbers increase with age. The National Council on Aging notes that in “older adults, 80% have at least one chronic disease and 77% have at least two. Individuals with multiple chronic diseases account for two-thirds of all health care costs and 93% of Medicare spending. “ 
- “By 2060, nearly one in four Americans will be 65 years and older, the number of 85-plus will triple, and the country will add a half-million centenarians.” according to a report on the Graying of America, by the US Census Bureau.
An effort to understand the unique needs of the over 65 population, is an important part of a hospital’s long-term strategic planning. Obtaining insight from the patient’s perspective is also vital if healthcare providers want to increase their patient satisfaction scores.
During the admission, discharge and follow-up stages of their care, older patients encounter multiple processes and meet numerous healthcare employees.
Every single point of care contributes to the patient experience.
The perceptions of the patient and their family and friends offer valuable insights into what matters most to them.
REAL-TIME FEEDBACK VERSUS HCAHPS
Patient satisfaction surveys (HCAHPS), while helpful, are retrospective. They are completed post-discharge and response rates are often low. In addition, the survey is presented in a series of predesigned questions rather than a ‘’free text’’ format.
A format where feedback could be offered in the patient’s ‘’own words’’ would be more informative and effective for hospitals.
VIE Healthcare has developed an innovative tool to offer to patients and families upon admission to hospital. The iSUGEZT app is installed on the patient’s smartphone and empowers them to offer praise, make suggestions for improvements and voice their concerns. This feedback is delivered to hospital leadership while the patient is still in your hospital.
iSUGEZT empowers patients and families to share stories on a confidential basis in real-time.
“BABY BOOMERS” AND TECHNOLOGY
A common misconception about older adults is their reluctance to embrace new technologies. However:
- According to a poll by the Pew Research Center 
68% of Baby Boomers (ages 55-73) and 40% of the Silent Generation (ages 74-91) own smartphones.
- A poll by Provision Living  compared smartphone use between baby boomers and millennials. The poll found that: “On average, baby boomers spend 5 hours per day on their phones, which is nearly the same as millennials, who clock in an average of 5.7 hours per day. Smartphones have changed the way we communicate regardless of how old we might be or where we might live.”
Baby boomers spend 5 hours every day on their smartphones, almost the same as millennials. Smartphones have changed the way we communicate and can play a vital role in patient feedback. Click To Tweet
- Baby Boomers are avid researchers, especially when it comes to their healthcare.  43% of adults aged between 50-80 have searched online for doctor ratings or reviews. However, only 7% were reported to have posted an online review or rating of their healthcare provider.
That apparent reluctance to publicly post reviews suggests that Baby Boomers may be more willing to share their experiences on a confidential platform.
iSUGEZT provides that platform while allowing hospital leaders to respond promptly and in a personal manner to the patient while they are still inhouse.
The iSUGEZT app offers an innovative way to obtain immediate and private feedback from patients of all ages – and their families and friends – via their smartphones. This vital information is easily shared with frontline hospital staff and management to celebrate outstanding staff performance as well as process improvement.
iSUGEZT uses point of care technology to obtain valuable feedback, and improve the patient experience.
 Factsheet: Healthy Aging; National Council on Aging, 2018. Accessed at: https://www.ncoa.org/resources/fact-sheet-healthy-aging/
 Jonathan Vespa, “The Graying of America: More Older Adults Than kids by 2035”, US Census Bureau, March 2018, Accessed at : https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/03/graying-america.html
 Emily A. Vogels, “Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life.” Pew Research Center, September 9, 2019. Accessed at: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/09/09/us-generations-technology-use/
 Provision Living Survey (1,000 Baby Boomers & 1,000 Millennials); Smartphone screen time: Baby Boomer and Millennials; Accessed at: https://www.provisionliving.com/news/smartphone-screen-time-baby-boomers-and-millennials
 David Hanauer MD; Searching for a Good Doctor, Online; National Poll on Healthy Aging, Volume: January/February 2020. Accessed at: https://www.healthyagingpoll.org/report/searching-good-doctor-online