What Seniors Really Want From Tech and Medicine

Is your medical practice targeting seniors? 

In 2015, almost 48 million people in the United States were over the age of 65. That’s just shy of 15 percent of the total population. By 2060, that number is expected to rise closer to 25 percent. 

As you age, you need more medical attention. Studies show that medical spending more than doubles between the ages of 70 and 90, with the largest expense coming right before death. As a whole, close to 14 percent of all medical spending occurs in the three years before death. 

That makes the senior population an integral part of most practices. If a growing number of your patients are over the age of 65, you have to ensure your technology matches their capabilities. Seniors:

  • Are, in general, less experienced in using technology than other age groups
  • Often have disabilities that make using technology more of a challenge
  • May lack the resources necessary to work with your technology of choice (ie smartphones, high-speed internet, etc) 

What’s a medical practitioner to do?

Lower your technological expectations

It’s easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of a new system when you’re demoing it with a rep. Technology brings in many new functions every day. But while you may be able to see the benefits of bumping up your possibilities, your client base may not. They often prefer things “the old way.” That’s not saying you should leave yourself at risk. By all means, upgrade and improve your systems all the time. Just be wary of the “latest and greatest” of anything before you implement it into your practice. 

Focus on training

What’s it going to take to train both your employees and your clients on how to use your new technology? What training materials exist to make sure the process is seamless from beginning to end? You might also consider developing training in multiple ways. For example, create a video that walks someone through specific tasks. Follow it up with written guidance they can download, store, or even print if necessary. Be sure to select fonts and sizes that are easy to read. 

Make help easy to find

A frustrated patient is never good for business. When transitioning to new technology, anticipate their needs and stay one step ahead at all times. Offer a class to help patients get the most out of your portal or app. Have a staff member available to call in and ask for help or training. You might even have your office call in and chat with patients you feel might get lost in the application. Personal touches can go a long way in increasing happiness with the system. 

And it can make the process smoother every step of the way. 

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.