One of the best things pain management practice can do to grow their practice and improve patient outcomes – is to make sure that you’re going beyond marketing to patients and turning your efforts towards building relationships with other medical practitioners. This allows you to help a patient through a treatment algorithm that may require multiple physicians, which is key to the well-being of your patients. But it also enables you to cultivate relationships that can result in referrals to your practice.
Why Cultivating Relationships is So Important
The marketplace is intensely competitive today, and while clinical competence is important, according to MD Connect, your competence only goes so far when you’re trying to score referrals from other clinicians. It often comes down to relationships. Liability and trust are often just as essential as being competent.
Cultivating relationships can take time. Instead of wasting effort on potential referrers who may not send many patients your way, you’ll want to build relationships with referral sources that reliably and consistently send patients and those who would if they knew more about the services and capabilities your practice offers. Even our pre-existing relationships need to be cultivated. Remember, these are assets to your practice. You’ll either make them better or lose them. So it’s always important to work on developing those professional relationships with referrers.
5 Steps to Building a Good Referral Network with Other Providers
How do you work on building a good referral network with other providers? Here are a few steps your practice should follow:
- Step #1 Educate Referrers – One of the most important things you need to do is educate referrers. Medical Practice Success reminds practices that physicians in your community need to realize that you’re not their competition – you’re a great business partner. Market to local physicians. Show them how you can help their patients and improve their care.
- Step #2 Consistent Communication – Consistent communication is key in any relationship, and it’s critical when you’re building a referral network with other providers. Communication offers one of the best and easiest ways to let other practices know what you want them to know. This can include writing newsletters, case studies, and other forms of communication that can reach out to other medical professionals.
- Step #3 Establish Reciprocal Referrals – The referral process should work both ways when possible. Establish reciprocal referrals. Send patients to doctors you’ve built relationships with when it’s warranted.
- Step #4 Participate in Seminars and Public Speaking Events – Getting involved in local medical seminars and other public speaking events can help you establish your expertise in pain management. It also gives you a chance to connect with and network with other doctors in the local healthcare community.
- Step# 5 Remember that Relationships are Ongoing – Don’t forget that these relationships you build with those in your referral network need to be nurtured. Reach out to make sure that clinics that refer to your office are happy with the services you give their patients. Have your office marketer, clinical coordinator, or manager reach out to these doctors and find out if there’s anything more you can do to help.
Don’t Forget to Think Outside the Box to Find Patients
Patients who deal with chronic pain are seeing many different types of doctors. For example, a patient who has peripheral neuropathy could be working with a neurology practice, their primary care physician, and a podiatrist. As you’re marketing to potential referrals, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Look for patients who may benefit from your pain management services in multiple locations.
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