By including marketing in your medical facility, you can potentially increase clientele. Though it is often not considered to be a marketing tool, utilizing referrals is a technique used by many physicians. Networking with coworkers and associates will build relationships with external resources who may refer patients to your facility. The main goal is to increase clientele and sustain patient health and happiness. Physician referrals may be a great way to maintain this goal.
What is Physician Referral Marketing?
Physician referral marketing is a strategy used in the medical field where physicians work together to form community relationships and improve the patient experience. They do so by referring patients to and from medical facilities. All parties greatly benefit from this tactic.
Physician marketing focuses on advertising the doctor’s practice and expertise to increase clientele. An effective way for physicians to advertise is by building relationships with other physicians who can refer their patients directly to you and vice versa. While there is still social media, advertisements, and alternative medical marketing resources, referrals hold large significance in the world of marketing because it is between two medical professionals as opposed to public recommendations.
Why Physicians Should Utilize Referrals as a Marketing Strategy
Working as a physician requires years of study and experience. It is likely physicians will run into the issue of being unable to determine a patient’s diagnosis. This is where referrals come into play. Being aware of physicians and their practice in your area can increase your marketing strategies, expand resources, and improve your patients’ experience. Establishing a relationship with other physicians and affiliating patient referrals can largely impact all physicians who are willing to work together. By building relationships with other physicians, both facilities are effectively marketing their practice, and patients receive answers to the medical concerns they have been struggling with.
How to Begin Referral Marketing?
Using physician referrals as a source of marketing may seem counterproductive. You are referring patients to another facility and it may appear as though you are losing clientele. However, referrals can go both ways, and can largely contribute to traffic increase. Here is how to begin physician referral marketing.
Network with Medical Practices
The medical industry is a large corporation and it is the busiest it has ever been. Networking with other physicians should be an easy task and a great way to begin referral marketing. Target medical facilities in the same area as you. It is best to refer patients to a doctor who is nearby so patients do not feel the physician they are being referred to is at an inconvenient location.
Meet with medical professionals to understand what their facility offers, and if it would be a place you would feel comfortable sending clients to. Understand the type of medical procedures they perform and evaluate if their patients would benefit from your practice.
Discuss Medical Referrals with Physicians
After deciding which facilities would benefit from physician referral marketing, develop a plan with the partnering medical professionals. It is important to maintain the relationship you have with the physicians you will be working with and ensure you are on the same page.
Develop a schedule that gives you enough time to also communicate with other physicians. Communicating with physicians is vital when you are referring your patients to them. Doctors need information regarding a new patient so their visit doesn’t seem like a never-ending cycle. Patients do not want to enter a referred appointment to discuss what they had previously explained. Furthermore, the receiving physician does not want to waste their time and their patient’s time. Include the following on the referral:
- Patients name
- Who is referring the patient
- Patient symptoms
- Patients full medical history including tests, diagnoses, medications, and treatments
- The purpose of the referral
- What the patient is expecting
Providing the receiving doctor with the mentioned information will allow doctors to spend more time on the patient, and will give the patient the best client experience. The client is likely to share their experience and bring your facility more traffic. The idea of medical referral marketing comes full circle.
Benefits of Physician Referral Marketing
Physician referral marketing can benefit all parties involved. The referring physician, receiving physician, and most importantly, the patients all benefit from referrals. Here are a few examples of the benefits that come from physician referral marketing.
Good Patient Experience
Medical professionals also need additional help determining patient diagnoses. Referrals allow physicians to ask for additional help so they aren’t left feeling helpless, and so their patients receive the appropriate care they need. The receiving physician increases clientele and helps another individual who is medically suffering. Furthermore, the patient leaves feeling hopeful and well taken care of. If the patient is referred to a doctor who has improved the condition they inquired about, both the referring and receiving physicians have contributed to the patient experience, where they can advertise your practice by word-of-mouth. In this regard, the goal of getting the patient the care they need in a timely manner has been met.
Marketing Physician Websites
Physician referrals can also lead to more traffic on your medical website. After a patient has been referred to your facility they will want information about your practice and further investigate the care they will be investing in. Since the internet is used as a resource to research services before using and paying for them, it is likely a patient will research your facility and practices before making an appointment. Almost every referral will direct traffic to your medical website. It is important your website is up-to-date and well constructed so patients feel confident in their doctor’s referral decision. Oftentimes websites provide customers with their first impression of the business or practice. High Converting Media can assist in marketing strategies for your website, and create a welcoming experience.
Utilizing referrals for medical marketing is a great strategy to increase traffic within your facility. It increases clientele, provides quick services, and allows patients to receive the attention and care they need.