Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 21

TRENDS / FEATURE

people-that is substantially different
than it was 10 years ago. So hospitals
have to change the way they think
about things to respond to that."
Two key areas hospitals should
think about differently, Connors
says: education and communication.
"We're seeing changes in the way
young parents and their kids process
information," says Connors, who has
been a practicing pediatric surgeon
for more than 20 years. "They learn
differently. They are reliant on digital
tools; they are online a lot. Their
attention span is short. They love
gaming. This is going to drive pediatric
providers in terms of education, helping
people understand what's going on
with their kids while they are facing
very difficult diseases or injuries."
Connors says children's hospitals will
have to be attentive to that education,
as these parents and kids are learning
in somewhat different ways.
They are also communicating in
different ways than parents and
patients of the not-so-distant-past.
Even though health care professionals
realize their consumers make up the
texting generation, the extent to which
millennials (parents and possibly
older patients) rely on this mode of
communication is staggering. "This is
a generation that may talk 10 minutes
on the phone a month and send 5,000
text messages," says Dorsey, who is a
also a millennial.

What about Gen Z?
This group is today's patients and
tomorrow's
parents.
The
oldest
members of this emerging generation
are 20 years old right now, and
they represent the next generation
of parents in children's hospitals.
Members of this demographic were
born after the millennials, but their
mindset is a bit different from that
of their generational predecessors.
And they will up the technology ante
for children's hospitals because the

tech way of life is the only one they
know. "Gen Z doesn't remember a time
before they could do everything on
a mobile device," says Dorsey. "There
is no history before watching TV on
your phone. It doesn't exist." This
is an important distinction,
he says, because a person's
natural or native relationship
with
that
technology
frequently determines their
expectations in health care.
This is something that
Scott
Perryman,
MBA,
knows well. As senior vice
president and administrator
of Loma Linda University
Children's
Hospital
in
California, Perryman and his
team conducted research that
revealed the importance parents and
families place on the ability to conduct
business as usual while they're inside
the children's hospital walls-even
if they're only there one day. Parents
say they can't function as a family if
they can't access the technology they
use to manage their lives. "This is not
a nice-to-have," says Perryman. "It's a
necessity for them. If they don't have
access to the technology they need to
manage their life within the hospital,
they feel they can't stay connected to
manage their life outside the hospital."

Everyday life
This "everyday life" factor extends
beyond just technology. To meet the
expectations of consumers today-
and tomorrow-children's hospitals
should work to provide smoother
sailing in other aspects of patient
and family lives, Perryman says.
For example, Loma Linda University
Children's Hospital is building a new
tower set to open in 2020. Here, patient
rooms will be private and roomy, and
the tower will have more reflection
and respite space to offer a better
consumer experience. But the hospital
is going further than that.

PARENTS IN FIVE YEARS

GENERATION Z
ALSO KNOWN AS
iGEN, CENTENNIALS,
FOUNDERS
* Age right now: Oldest
members are 20
* Have only lived in times when
everything can be done on a
mobile device
* Face-to-face conversation
will be less "normal"
* Telehealth will be "normal"
expectation; will not want a
physical visit
* Will rely more on
recommendations and
reviews for health care
choices than millennials
* Focus more on wellness than
response to illness
Compiled with insights from Jason Dorsey,
The Center for Generational Kinetics

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL S TODAY Fall 2017

21



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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Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 4
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 5
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 6
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Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Cover3
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