For most specialists, physician referrals are critical to the success of their practices. Therefore, it’s vitally important to have an organized system in place that builds solid professional relationships with other doctors.
However, over time, it is easy to take your doctor referral relationships for granted and assume they’ll keep referring their patients to you. If you do not nurture these professional relationships, it could cost you referred patients in the long run.
How to Ensure a Steady Flow of Physician Referrals
You need to do more than just passively maintain your doctor referral relationships. Here are five ways in which you can strengthen these existing relationships and thereby ensure a steady flow of new referrals:
1. Keep Track of Your Referral Sources
You should have a system in place that provides monthly reports which indicate where your referrals are originating and who your top referral sources are. This will help you stay abreast of actionable positive and negative trends.
Generally, as much as 80% of a practice’s referrals are derived from only 20% of its referral sources, so these are the ones to keep a close eye on and truly nurture. If you notice changes in individual referral patterns, these are the ones that require your attention. This tracking method will help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and determine where you should direct your time and resources.
2. Provide Consistent Updates About Their Patients
Your medical practice can stand out from the others by providing prompt follow-up to your referring doctors via direct phone calls that keep your referrers in the loop and up-to-date on what’s happening with their patients. Your report to them (whether written or verbal) should include your clinical findings, any medications that are prescribed, and details on your treatment plan and follow-up recommendations.
3. Maintain frequent contact with a referral specialist with Referring Physicians
It’s important that you keep those who send you their patients informed of new services you have available. At the same time, let them know the value of the services you are offering to their patients.
You can reach out to your referring colleagues on an occasional and ongoing basis by phone, mail, or email, by having lunch together, or by inviting them to attend a seminar. Keeping the communication channels open is what true professional relationships are all about. Having a referral specialist that focuses on building and maintaining these relationships is essential.
4. Show Your Appreciation
Something as simple as sending a personalized thank you note and/or gift to a referring physician is a meaningful way of showing that you truly value the patient referrals that they are sending your way.
5. Solicit Feedback
Asking for feedback from referrers benefits you in two ways: (1) It provides you with the opportunity to learn how much they know and think about your services, and (2) it shows that you value their opinion.
There are various ways in which you can obtain their feedback, including:
- Periodically sending a representative from your practice to the referring physician’s office for a face-to-face conversation
- Surveying your referral sources via an online survey
- Calling or emailing each referring physician
What you learn in the process will help you make necessary changes to your operations that demonstrate your commitment to providing the best possible healthcare service to your mutual patients.
As simple as they may sound, these five techniques will not only strengthen your existing referral relationships but may also encourage other physicians in your area to start referring their patients to your practice. In the process, it can all lead to a higher return on your marketing investment.
Doctor Referral Service for Your Medical Practice
Although this all sounds easy, it’s hard to actually carry out on an ongoing basis because it requires time and manpower. The best way to strengthen your doctor referral relationships – and save your practice time and effort – is by outsourcing this important task to the experienced professionals at Doctor Referral Institute.
Our team provides face-to-face representation with your current and potential referral sources in order to ensure that your practice obtains, and maintains, the condition-specific patients who require your unique, specialized services. Our proven system not only increases the quality and quantity of your patient referrals, but it also helps you maintain your doctor referral relationships which, in turn, can increase your bottom line.
To learn about how Doctor Referral Institute can successfully address your specific marketing needs, contact us today at (888) 703-9167 or fill out our consultation request form online now. We look forward to working with you and growing your practice.