How important are patient referrals to your healthcare practice’s bottom line?
Considering that 40 to 60 percent or more of a practice’s revenue is from patient referrals, you would think that doctors would track referrals more accurately Most resort to tracking on paper or an excel spreadsheet, if at all. There are many benefits for health providers to optimize the management of a referral network. One benefit is better care quality due to more coordinated and preventive care, enhanced patient engagement and satisfaction. Another is an increased patient volume which helps maximize ROI. The important number for providers to keep track of is that 46% of the time, patients do not receive the care they need. Thus, providers do not realizing lost revenue. The key is to convert referrals into an appointment. 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 wildly popular blog post about the true cost of a patient referral, the statistics are very interesting.
Here are a few processes that can help you be successful.
- Use an online referral contact database service that can help manage and track all of your patient referrals.
- Communicate to your list. Use this list to market to your referral contacts – (Direct mail, newsletters, email) and to keep up to date with who is your most valuable contacts in terms of the number of referrals exchanged between practitioners. If you see a trend that shows that your best referral partner is not exchanging referrals very often, set an alert to call him to make sure the relationship stays strong.
- Be consistent. Just because you gain traction initially doesn’t mean you can take your foot off the pedal.
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.
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 Urologist. 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. 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.
Other great ways to improve your practice:
- 8 Quick Steps You Can Do Today to Set Your Healthcare Practice Up for Gigantic Success
- Guide to improving your practice in 5 easy steps When Was the Last Time You Gave Your Practice a “Checkup”
What techniques do you use to manage your referrals? Please share your comments below.