A new patient that is driven to your practice through a referral is a gift. Whether they are the referral of a patient or a doctor, they should be cherished. The trust that precedes the referral must also be maintained in order to continue to see referrals increase.
Many providers wonder what they need to do to boost or garner referrals from doctors into their practice. Here are five tips to help your practice increase doctor referrals.
The foundation of any patient referral program is trust. Referrals from providers will only come if they feel their patients will like and trust the doctor they are referred to. In order to build trust, doctors must spend time servicing their referral network. This means regularly addressing concerns, answering questions and keeping the lines of communication open at all times. For new doctors it is vital to take the time to personally meet potential referral sources.
In order to develop long-lasting relationships with referral sources there must be open lines of communication. Provide referring practices with progress reports promptly after seeing their patients.
Be sure to send the patient back to the referring practice following their appointment. Many providers are hesitant to refer patients out because they are fearful of not getting their patient back. Reassure them by clearly communicating to the patient the importance of following up with their provider.
While the doctor often gives the “seal of approval” for patient referrals, it is often the staff that makes specific recommendations. If you want them to recommend your practice you must include them in your outreach. Get to know the staff. Show your genuine interest in them as people, not just referral sources.
Everyone likes to be thanked. Be sure to show your gratitude to referral sources by not only thanking them, but also occasionally buying them breakfast or lunch or a small gift. Lunches provide the perfect opportunity for referring practices to learn more about your practice and why they should send patients to you.
Patient referrals are an integral part of any medical marketing strategy. In order to boost referrals, practices must understand what referring offices need to continue sending patients. Here are five tips to help your practice boost referrals.Once you have established relationships with referral sources it is important to further develop these relationships over time. This can be challenging for many practices because of time constraints. Because of this many practices are adding Physician Liaison’s to their arsenal. These key personnel are specially trained to develop relationships with referral sources while educating the group on why and when they should refer. They are also skilled at answering clinical questions and addressing concerns. They are the link between the referring office and your own.
Patient referrals are one of the most important ways to grow a medical practice. It takes time and money to nurture these relationships to a healthy state. Don’t let the competition come up and steal patient referrals from your practice. Embrace existing and potential referral sources as a vital part of your medical marketing strategy.