There are various ways that a healthcare organization can improve it’s Care Management Process and one of those ways is by improving a healthcare organizations referrals through an improvement in the quality of care, having high regard for patient satisfaction, and a bunch of other things. Referrals help increase the client base of a healthcare organization which helps maintain its financial viability. Below we discuss ways that a healthcare organization can increase its referral traffic.
Make Feedback a Care Management Process
A healthcare organization is likely to have a higher referral network if they ask their patients for feedback. Getting feedback shouldn’t be just from patients but also from their network. Asking existing referrals how you can improve on or strengthen the existing relationships will let them know that the healthcare organization is one that’s concerned with constantly improving.
It will also give the healthcare organization an idea of their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what they are doing well that makes their network happy means that can double down on it while at the same time working to improve on the areas that they don’t do so well in. A healthcare organization has various ways that it can get feedback. They can hire a physician liaison who will help maintain relationships with doctors and other organizations in the referral network and these liaisons will also be responsible for getting feedback.
A healthcare organization can also conduct a survey of their referral network where they would ask yes and no questions, questions that rate their performance in different areas on a scale, and open-ended questions that ask for suggestions on things that can be improved upon. Surveys can be easy to create using platforms like SurveyMonkey. Another way of getting direct feedback is by making phone calls to ask for feedback.
Phone calls are good for getting useful feedback because they lead to conversations where the clients can talk honestly and they can be asked further questions based on their answers which leads to higher quality and more detailed responses. Regularly asking for feedback is one sure way of getting good referrals and maintaining good standing in your referral network.
Get Referrals Through Marketing
Even though the main goal of healthcare organizations is to provide care to patients and not to make a profit for shareholders, they still need to do some marketing. Businesses exist to make a profit and increse the holding or shareholder, but its a bit different for healthcare organizations especially non-profit hospitals. But despite this, they still need to remain fiancially viable so they do not close down.
Even established hospitals and established physicians still need to market themselves continuously. Marketing can be done during networking events, industry events etc. Marketing can also be done by sponsoring industry events or setting up a table or booth at such events in order to give out business cards and share information about the hospital and its services to future clients and referral partners.
Hospitals can also utilize digital spaces and technology for their marketing purposes such as putting information on their website, buying advertising online, creating online communities or joining existing ones that share information about the hospital and its services to members. For doctors in a hospital, they should also market themselves individually to get more clients. They can take advantage of their employer’s resources if possible, but also utilize the digital medium to get their name out and attract more clients and more referrals.
Getting Referrals Through Technology
I already mentioned technology briefly above and how it can be used to get referrals or at least market the healthcare organization to other people. Technology has really changed the healthcare industry for the better.
Whether it’s new biomedical devices that have revolutionized how procedures are performed and increased the possibilities of non-invasive surgeries or if it’s the huge contributions to electronic health/medical records (EHR/EMR) that have helped streamline care coordination, technology has had a tremendous impact on how healthcare is practiced today and it is just the beginning.
A healthcare organization should embrace technology and all the ways it can be used to get their name out there, build relationships, and solidify existing relationships. There are many software applications that have been built solely to help streamline care coordination and collaboration for healthcare organizations. These software programs can be bought and applied to the existing systems to make it more efficient.
Make the Referral Process Easy
If you want people to refer you to their network, then you need to make the referral process easy and get rid of any complications or bottlenecks that might discourage people from referring you. Make your hospital and information about your hospital easy to find and easy to access. Have business cards and fliers readily available, make your website easy to navigate and have a phone number that can be called anytime to answer questions of patients, potential patients, and those in the referral network.
One sure way of making the referral process easy on both you and your network is to embrace electronic health records technology organizationally. The second step is to actually find software that meets all your needs and the needs of your referral network and utilize it to the fullest. There are technology platforms that allow healthcare organizations to easily communicate with your referral network electronically.
You can attach a patient’s file and any additional medical files or information. You can also send clear and detailed notes along with the referral. Some software even lets you communicate real-time with the referring provider.