Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 2

CHECKING IN EDITOR╩╝S NOTE

Forget flying cars
The future is not some faraway fantasy.

W

e tend to think of the future as being
far away. In 20 years, 50 years or even
100 years, what will the world look like?
Hollywood has given us various predictions
with some hits and misses. Movies like "Back
to the Future" depict a world in 2015 with
flying cars (wrong), hoverboards (jury's still
out), and fax machines (very wrong), proving
we probably shouldn't pin our future hopes
on Hollywood's predictions.
While nobody can predict the future, one
thing we do know is our desire to have immediate access to information, games or
whatever electronics can provide us will
not diminish. Every new generation will be
born into more technology and have a higher
level of comfort with it than the generation
before. As someone who straddles the line
between being a young Gen-Xer and an old
millennial, I did not have a cellphone in high
school. This is a vastly different experience
from today's high schoolers. The oldest members of Generation Z are 20 years old, and 96
percent of them own a smartphone.
By 2020, Generation Z will account for
one-third of the U.S. population. This group
makes up children's hospital patients today,
and as the oldest members of this generation age, they will become the next wave of
parents, too. Their needs, and preferences
for the way they want to do business, are

Fall 2017 | Vol. 25 No. 4

different than mine or yours. While millennials remember the days of dial-up internet,
Generation Z has never been without highspeed internet to help them share every
moment of their life on social media.
For children's hospitals, this means shifting
how they communicate and educate patients
and parents, and taking a different tact than
just 10 years ago. How can health care providers ensure Generation Z parents comprehend
their child's diagnosis, especially when facing
complex conditions? Tapping into generational preferences by leveraging technology will
help hospitals communicate a clear message
that Gen Z parents understand.
In the end, parents are still parents. They
want what's best for their kids; and that's a
constant among all generations. The difference is in how hospitals connect with them,
whether it's a comforting hand on the shoulder or on-demand access to providers with a
smartphone app. It will always come down
to providing the best care, now and years
into the future.

AMANDA BERTHOLF
magazine@childrenshospitals.org

2

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL S TODAY Fall 2017

Art Direction and Design
Eric Gapsch
Deanna Yesko
Contributors
Christine Bush
Darcie Reeson
childrenshospitals.org/cht
Ben McClanahan
Natalie Webster
Editorial Advisory Council
Paul Dworkin, M.D.
Rick Majzun, FACHE
Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., M.B.E.
Kelly Wolfe
Karen Wolfson

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017

Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 2
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