I’m often asked the question, “how can I get physicians to choose my hospital over the competitor”. The answer is VERY simple…
Would you say, or more importantly would your physicians say, it is difficult or easy for them or their staff to refer business to your organization?
Physicians and their office staff, (who drive most of the referrals) are looking for ways to ease their incredible burden associated with the enormity of steps required when referring “their” patients to hospitals, specialists, and free-standing centers. The answer is: You will win referrals by offering the PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE. Think EASE, HASSLE FREE, & SPEED.
Start with the high-ticket area Surgery, Imaging, Specialists and any other areas you need growth. Identify all of your organization’s access points, because each point provides opportunities to win more referrals by merely removing the unnecessary hassle factors.
Here are seven quick steps to start generating more Physician Referrals:
1. Identify strategic service lines you want/need growth
2. Spend time in the departments interviewing staff, and more importantly, observing the current internal process [a physician’s office staff must follow] to refer a patient to that area.
3. Ask the physician’s office (yes, the customer) for “their” perspective of the experience (likes & dislikes)
4. Identify and evaluate all the exposed “hassle” or “hot” spots (often what doesn’t happen at your competition) including:
- Do you make them provide the life history of the patient, or just the minimal amount necessary to get the patient referral?
- Do the hospital department hours match the physician’s office hours (or do you close 3 hours before the office hours close).
- Is your staff friendlier than the competition? I’ve been told many times by physician’s staff that they don’t refer because the staff is so rude. WOW ~ REALLY?
5. Start removing hassle points as quickly as possible. ACT WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY!
6. Hold people accountable through an established reporting system.
7. Create a metrics to measure the difference, i.e., incremental referrals!
You want the physicians to choose you? Offer them the Path of Least Resistance and prepare for the FLOOD of new business!
P.S. Some physicians will use the “I let my patients choose” excuse. Don’t fall for it! If you’re the hassle-free, path of least resistance choice, the physician and their staff, will make sure they choose YOU!