Modern Steps: Transforming Podiatry Care for Millennials and Gen Z

In podiatry and orthopedics, while patient care covers all ages, most practices place a notable emphasis on older demographics. These practices overlook the substantial benefits of engaging younger patients, particularly active individuals or athletes. Sports-related injuries, such as ankle fractures, not only require immediate, high-value treatments but also open the door to long-term patient relationships. Younger patients present a continuous opportunity for repeat visits over decades, contributing to sustained practice growth. Additionally, these patients often extend the practice’s reach by introducing family members, further increasing patient volume.

Moving beyond a sole focus on elderly patients to actively include younger demographics is essential for a practice’s long-term evolution and financial health. Practices that adjust to this broader demographic can secure a stable, diversified patient base, enhancing both immediate revenue and long-term viability.

The key to sustainable growth and long-term health of podiatry practices lies in diversifying their patient base to include Millennials and Gen Z. These younger generations come with a set of expectations vastly different from their predecessors, centered around technology, efficiency, and digital engagement. Meeting these expectations means embracing digital transformation and rethinking the patient experience from the ground up.

Understanding the Needs of Millennial and Gen Z Patients

Millennials and Gen Z, having grown up in a digital world, bring a tech-savvy perspective to every element of their lives, including healthcare. Convenience is not just preferred; it’s expected, with a strong inclination towards digital communication channels over traditional ones. These younger generations are adept at leveraging technology to streamline their daily activities, and they anticipate a similar efficiency in healthcare services. From booking appointments online to accessing health records with a click, the digital experience is paramount.

Their approach to selecting healthcare providers is equally modern. Millennials and Gen Z are more inclined to scrutinize online reviews and ratings when choosing a provider, highlighting the importance of a strong digital presence and reputation. Moreover, their expectations for customer service are high, seeking prompt, transparent, and interactive communication with their providers. This generation values a healthcare experience that is not only efficient but also personalized, expecting practices to use digital tools to enhance patient care and engagement.

Attracting Younger Patients with Technology

The adoption of advanced technology has become a necessity for practices aiming to attract and retain younger patients. Millennials and Gen Z have grown accustomed to the ease and speed that technology brings to their daily routines. Therefore, they expect nothing less from their providers. Cutting-edge software plays a pivotal role in meeting these expectations, transforming every step into a seamless, digital experience.

The patient invoicing process illustrates this contrast starkly. Consider the conventional method where a biller prints out a patient statement, prepares an envelope, and mails it. This statement likely arrives amidst a pile of junk mail (like credit card offers), making it easy to overlook. Upon finding the bill, the patient faces multiple steps: finding a checkbook (which they often don’t own), purchasing a stamp, and mailing the payment—a process that feels outdated and cumbersome. This not only delays payment by potentially a month but also frustrates patients accustomed to quicker, digital transactions.

Compare this to a digital payment process: as soon as a balance is due, the biller can send an electronic payment link directly to the patient. With a simple tap on their smartphone, the patient completes the payment instantly, aligning with their digital lifestyle and expectations for efficiency and convenience. This method not only ensures faster payment but also eliminates the environmental impact of paper bills and the inefficiency of postal mail.

The adoption of advanced technology in billing and other patient interactions is more than just convenience; it’s a transformation. Online appointment scheduling, digital intake forms, e-signatures, and electronic billing resonate deeply with Millennials and Gen Z, who value speed, efficiency, and environmental sustainability. Beyond initial interactions, features like 24/7 help centers and customer service provide continuous support and convenience, elevating the overall care experience.

Enhancing the In-Office Experience

The in-office experience for patients, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, can be significantly improved through the adoption of a modern Podiatry EMR. Digital solutions for efficient note-keeping can transform the documentation process, making visits not only more efficient but also ensuring that the limited time a physician spends in the exam room is focused on patient care rather than administrative tasks.

A 71-year-old patient undergoing a second hip replacement sees a doctor’s visit as the day’s highlight. With plenty of time and few daily tasks, they don’t mind long waits or lengthy appointments. They can afford to block out most of their day for this appointment.

In contrast, a 38-year-old parent with a full-time job and multiple responsibilities sees a doctor’s visit as one of many daily tasks. They prioritize efficiency, finding lengthy paperwork, waiting times, and extended appointments disruptive. They require a healthcare experience that fits their busy schedule without compromising care quality.

These contrasting experiences underline the need for podiatry and orthopedic practices to adapt to their patients’ evolving needs. Younger patients benefit from streamlined visits with digital paperwork, reduced wait times, and efficient procedures. Convenient payment solutions and clear billing practices meet their expectations for fast transactions and transparency.

Creating Digital Connections

Creating and maintaining digital connections with patients is essential, especially when it comes to engaging Millennials and Gen Z. Here are some strategies for practices to enhance their digital presence and forge stronger connections with younger patients.

  • Social Media, Online Reviews, and Patient Testimonials: Utilize social media for outreach, sharing educational content, and success stories to maintain an active online presence. Encourage patient reviews to increase credibility. Share relevant content and testimonials on LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media channels to connect with potential patients, demonstrating real outcomes and the personal touch of your practice.
  • Website Essentials: Your website, often the first interaction point, must be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and have online booking options. Include valuable information regarding your practice procedures and treatments so patients can just go to your website and read up on the treatment they’re receiving. Ensure the information is accessible and the booking process simple, catering to smartphone users.
  • Engaging Younger Patients: Continue engagement beyond visits with personalized communications, using EMR data to tailor messages. Send follow-up communications post-appointment for feedback and improved satisfaction.
  • Feedback Loops: Implement surveys and direct communication for patient feedback. Respond to and incorporate this input, showing a commitment to meeting patient needs and adapting services accordingly.


Attracting Millennials and Gen Z to practices demands adopting technology, digital engagement, and customized experiences. These demographics prioritize efficiency and digital interaction in healthcare. Effective strategies include using social media for outreach, optimizing websites for mobile use, and implementing digital scheduling and billing systems. Direct communication and active feedback mechanisms are essential for meeting these patients’ expectations.

Practices that integrate these methods will more effectively serve younger patients, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty. Adopting these strategies ensures a broad, enduring patient base, promoting growth and competitiveness.