Building A Referral Network To Grow Your Medical Practice

Establishing a thriving and successful medical practice requires a well-planned approach to marketing and building a network of referral sources. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s essential to be proactive.

At DoctorsInternet.com, we know how to help your medical practice stand out from the rest! From responsive website design and SEO strategies for organic search to paid search, a social media presence, reputation management, patient communication, and so much more, we offer complete online marketing solutions to generate patient leads that translate into practice growth.

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In addition to providing your practice with digital strategies for success, we offer the following advice for establishing, maintaining, and strengthening your referral sources to help ensure practice growth:

1. Long-term success depends on good planning.

To build a referral base that provides a steady stream of new patients, you must develop a strategic plan. Determine which medical practices in your community represent a potential source of referrals for your office. Also, decide how you will reach out to these practices and who will represent your office in these efforts. Do you have the time? Will it be a member of your office team, or is it best to engage a physician liaison? Remember, implementation, consistency, and making a great first impression count!

You may also want to establish relationships with other types of healthcare offices and non-healthcare businesses or organizations in your community that can provide patient referrals.

2. Get to know other physicians in your community and take the lead in welcoming new ones.

Take the opportunity to introduce yourself and your practice to physicians and healthcare providers in your community at other offices, hospitals, clinics, health-related facilities, and professional events. When a new practice or healthcare provider comes to town, be among the first to welcome them. Even in the digital age, personal introductions via a meeting, email, or a phone call go a long way in building a foundation for referrals and trusting partnerships in care.

3. Establish a presence in your community

At DoctorsInternet.com, we’ll help your practice develop a robust online presence that reflects what's special about your practice and provides information that’s authoritative, relevant, and engaging. To help build greater awareness and trust in your practice, it’s also helpful to demonstrate your commitment to your community. As time permits, it’s nice to lend your support to local organizations, professional societies, charity events, and the like.

4. Maximize referral efficiency and ease with technology

Today, technology continues to streamline the referral process and make everything about it more efficient. It’s essential that your office has the technology and that your staff has the know-how to make the electronic referral process smooth and seamless.

5. Communication is the key to successful partnerships in care.

Get back to referring physicians in a timely fashion. Let your medical colleague know the patient has been seen. Also, inform them of your findings and your plan of care. Make sure your office team notifies you and responds to inquiries from referring physicians promptly.

6. Analyze your referral base

Take a look at your referral sources. Is your best one growing or shrinking? Is there something your practice can do to stimulate more referrals from your best sources? Is there something you can do to make less active referral sources more productive?

While you’ve worked hard to establish a referral network, it’s equally important to continue nurturing and maintaining it. Look to feedback from patients and referring doctors to provide information on ways to further enhance trust and confidence in your practice.

7. Establish an online reputation that’s synonymous with quality care

The importance of an excellent online reputation cannot be overstated!

Prospective patients and referral sources pay attention to your online reputation. Building positive reviews while appropriately handling any negative comments can make all the difference between getting new patient referrals and not seeing the practice growth you'd like.

8. Develop your brand and look to improve your visibility in online searches

At DoctorsInternet.com, we understand the design elements, content requirements, and digital strategies needed to boost your brand and establish a successful online presence that supports practice growth. As experts in website and online marketing services for healthcare professionals, we develop custom strategies to achieve success in local searches.

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