6 Ways to Increase Primary Care Referrals

Woman in white coat wearing white face mask Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels

One of the main ways a healthcare practice can increase their referrals is by maintaining positive relationships with patients and providers. This is imperative to a successful practice.  Specifically, creating and maintaining connections with physicians is essential to creating a strong referral network and a steady patient flow.  Here are 6 ways to grow your practice and increase referrals:

1.Meet the PCPs

The first step is to set up an appointment to meet with the primary care physicians and let them know about your educational and professional qualifications and the quality of experience you have in your vertical medicine. Discuss how your mutual patients’ quality of life can be improved by diagnosing common problems related to your field. You can give incentives/gifts or offer help in an area that you know they need help in. By doing that, they will remember to refer patients to you. Keep in mind, you’re likely going to get shunned a lot during this step, but it’s important because now your name will be in the conversation at their practice when discussing referrals.

2.  Create content about how your care can help their patients

Producing content about your specialty, or recurring topics in your area, is a precious source of patient attraction and a way of convincing the PCP that you are capable of taking care of their patients because the more authority you demonstrate in your field of specialization, the more they trust you to be the ideal professional to work with.

To highlight your content, you can publish it to your blog or post it on relevant social sites like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Baby's visit to the doctor Photo by Rawpixel.com on Adobe Stock

3. Don’t underestimate the power of free lunch

Offer to take them out to lunch or for coffee at a time convenient for them. This will offer them the opportunity to relax, which will allow you to engage them and get to know their referral patterns and routine. Don’t be afraid to go somewhere different, such as TopGolf!

4.  Invite them to come and have a firsthand experience of your service in your clinic.

For example, if you are a cardiologist, you invite them to not only see the quality of your CT images but experience the machine themselves. You can do this by giving each primary health care physician a picture of their hearts.

They will see firsthand how professional and impressive your services are and the personalized care you give.

5.  Hire great people

Another way of increasing referrals to your clinic is by hiring someone, sometimes known as a physician liaison, that carries out relationship-building tasks. I want to re-name that title to Practice Coordinator, someone who builds human connections. Your referring physicians are humans who have

Qualities you should look out for in a physician liaison are:

  • Ability to Follow-up
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Be able to negotiation
  • Able to communicate effectively
  • Resourcefulness
  • Knowledge of CRM and E-Mail marketing solutions

    Doctor Holding Cell Phone. Cell phones and other kinds of mobile devices and communications technologies are of increasing importance in the delivery of health care. Photographer Daniel Sone Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

6.  Start a primary care meet-up

Starting a meet-up is a resource for connecting with your colleagues, patients, and primary care providers. This would naturally create effective referral partnerships and an understanding of what you do and the PCPs. You can think of it as building a friendly bridge that supports the specialists, primary care physicians, and the community organically.

When we do this at our practices, I like delivering a handwritten letter and a small gift like the Amazon Echo Dot.

I mentioned human connection once or twice. That is what has single-handedly increased the number of referrals our healthcare practice receives. We have learned and incorporated into our practice the desire to form and maintain a real relationship with your referring physicians and not treat them like another practice in your referral book.

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Joseph Lucero

Joseph is the founder of Belmar Health, a medical practice growth agency where his teams' daily mission is to help practice owners overcome stagnant revenue.

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