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Physicians Liaisons and I.T. – Unlikely Partners, Unbelievable Results

Physicians Liaisons and I.T. – Unlikely Partners, Unbelievable Results

We’ve all heard the old saying: “He who controls the data … Controls.” But really, it’s

“He who “USES” the data … CONTROLS.”

I’m completely blown-away at how many organizations spend limited resources purchasing referral data and after the initial “Oohs and Awes” by the few who will seldom or never use it; it is put on a shelf. I feel a little silly saying this to executives, but here goes…

Data on a shelf, or in a computer, will never drive in business or ever see a return on your hefty investment. There I said it!

Use It or Lose It

Then there’s our own data. There always seems to be a lack of consistent, relevant, timely (monthly), and accurate internal referral data in circulation and use. This practice will blind you from quickly identifying significant referral shifts and prevent immeasurable opportunities to quickly respond to those referral shifts before risking new habits or positive experiences using your competitor.

The Silver Bullet vs. Silver Lining

Data alone is not the silver bullet. It provides a map, but not the vehicle to reach your destination of incremental referrals to your organization. But here’s the silver lining; data in the hands of a highly trained sales team provides the essential ingredients necessary for extraordinary results in managing and growing referral volume.

Good News

Every organization has data. Let me repeat myself. EVERY organization, including yours has data!

Even Better News

I guarantee there is enough internal data TODAY, to implement and/or support a results-oriented Physician Liaison Program. External data is awesome; however, while it’s somewhat aged, it is very useful as the second phase of physician-hospital relations/sales program. Extraordinary results can be achieved NOW by using relevant, timely (monthly), and accurate internal data first.

Unlikely Partners

The sales force (Physician Liaisons) and I.T. staff should be in complete collaboration and partnership in the development of referral data. These unlikely partners can make the difference between mediocre results and off-the-charts growth.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “I’ve tried to get data for years and am unable to get it!” Or, “I gave up on good data a long time ago.” I want to believe there is just a lack of understanding for the critical need. Sometimes it takes an outside person, or a leader to re-establish priorities, creating a better understanding of the when, where, how, and the WHY.

The I.T. Experience

My favorite I.T. experience was at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Elkin, North Carolina. Their I.T. Director, Lee Powe is one of the best I.T. people I’ve ever worked with, perhaps because he wasn’t saddled with our “healthcare paradigm.” He came from another industry. His favorite phrase was “tell me what you need”. He even went as far as to say “tell me what you want,” in order to better understand the goal of the data. That’s a big deal because it often takes a third or fourth round to get it right, which leads to a lot of hard work on the team. Working collaboratively often is the start to decoding referral mysteries, which is what continues to happen at Hugh Chatham!

Data Driven Results

I’m not just using the terms “consistent”, “relevant”, and “timely (monthly)” as word-fillers. These are the key competitive weapons. Once the skilled sales force becomes consistently armed, the deliberate data-driven sales focus goes to a whole new level.
Whether purchasing outside data or depending on the I.T. department to provide it, the bottom-line is, data alone has no heart-beat and alone it cannot get results. A highly skilled sales force will make the data come to life!