Referrals are the lifeblood of most healthcare organizations
For example, Cardiologists and Orthopedics typically get most of their patients referred by Internists and Primary Care Physicians. Oncologists receive many of their patients from OB/GYN’s and Urologists. Dental specialists, such as Endodontists and Periodontists, gain referrals from General Dentists.
Many specialists focus their marketing efforts on their referral sources, not on the patient because it’s more cost-effective.
How important are referrals to your bottom line?
Considering that 40 to 60 percent or more of a practice’s revenue is from referrals, you would think that doctors would track referrals more accurately Most resort to tracking on paper or excel, if at all. This leads to not fully understanding the true value of the referral relationships that you strive to keep healthy and referring consistently.
Referral relationships are built on trust, knowledge, and responsiveness. With every business, understanding the value of one’s time and being able to monetize each relationship is critical to success.
Check out our newest article about the true cost of a referral, the statistics are very interesting.
Here are a few processes that can help you be successful.
- Use an online referral contact database service such as ReferralMD, that can help manage and track all your referrals.
- Use this list to market to your referral contacts – (Direct mail, newsletters, email)(Get our free guide to email marketing to patients) and keep up to date with who is your most valuable contacts in terms of # of referrals exchanged between practitioners. If you see that over time one of your best referral partners is not exchanging referrals as often, you can set an alert to call him and chat, go to lunch, etc. to make sure the relationship stays strong.
- Consistency is key, just because you gain traction initially doesn’t mean you can slow down in the future.
Healthcare practitioners refer patients to other practitioners they know and have trust with. Using an online tool that is more secure, accurate, and reliable is a good step in building loyalty because you will always know where you stand with any given organization and have reliable reports to track your activities.
Other great ways to improve your practice:
What techniques do you use to manage your referrals? Please share your comments below.