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6 Ways Liaisons Can Use Data to Be A Catalyst for Practice Growth

6 Ways Liaisons Can Use Data to Be A Catalyst for Practice Growth

We would like to welcome our guest blog post by Carrie Bennett, VP of Client Strategy at Marketware.  At Tiller-Hewitt, we are constantly looking for ways to network and work with others to create the best path to success.  Our collaboration with Marketware is one example. Marketware provides relationship management and analytics technology that helps healthcare organizations target, track and trend their market share. With this information combined with a robust Physician Liaison Program, growth is guaranteed.

When I used to tell people I was involved in physician relations, most thought my job involved delivering materials  to practices and fielding physician complaints.  While I did some of those things, my CEO would have told you that my role was to grow key hospital service lines.  On the other hand, the physicians I interacted with would have told you that my job was to help them succeed. They were both right.

Carrie Bennett graphic I am a natural facilitator who enjoys identifying opportunities to link people, groups and ideas together.  I have learned that discovering and closing gaps is what makes work fun for me.  I have also learned that when I actively listen for opportunities to connect and nurture relationships between my customers (in this case, physicians), a lot of the growth I am expected to deliver, happens organically.

Along the way, I tried plenty of approaches including some akin throwing spaghetti on the wall and praying some pieces would stick.  As I gained more experience, I recognized that being more strategic when approaching growth ensured I maximized my impact.  This required tapping into my inner Nancy Drew to uncover opportunities to position myself as a catalyst for building the practices around me.  My six key tactics for using data to consistently drive practice growth include:

Be Inquisitive.  Regardless of my primary reason for visiting with a physician, I always made sure to ask something about their practice.  Sometimes, I would review my internal data sources to see what trends I could identify internally or any field intelligence my team had collected from other peer visits.  Then, I would use those observations as a starting point for asking questions related to their specific practice.  Their answers would often give me insight into their patient population, clinical interests and what parts of their practice were poised for growth.

Explore Your Options.  When I worked at LifePoint, I led our hospitals’ constituency satisfaction initiatives including the system-wide adoption of a mystery shopping program where we gained some invaluable insights on how to shift from ‘good to great.’  As a liaison, I continued to play mystery shopper by calling a handful of practices to schedule a new patient appointment.  The results helped me understand first impressions from the patient’s perspective; if there are specific patient groups a practice is targeting or excluding; and, ultimately, which practices were poised for growth.  I could then use these observations as part of my practice discussions.

Dig in beyond the data.  Before promoting any new physician or service, I used external data (i.e. states, CMS, ambulatory claims) to better understand which competitors are the most active in the market today, what procedures they tend to perform, patient demographics as well as which referral sources they appear to connect with the most often.

Share the Knowledge.  I am still often surprised by how little many physicians seem to know about their own referral pipeline – especially given the increased adoption of EMR systems.  I have found that this data isn’t always easily accessible which can leave the physician vulnerable.  If they don’t know who their top referral sources are, they don’t know who they should be reaching out to if they want to learn more about what they can do to maintain or enhance the referral/patient experience.  Moreover, they also don’t know who may be considering them a visitor vs. a potential care partner.  For this reason, I partnered with office managers and physician partners to actively review their referral data at least once a year to visualize key trends.

Plan Ahead.  As a liaison, I would take time to meet with key referral targets ahead of time to understand the strength of any existing relationships as well as their expectations for how specialists interact with them and their patients.  In turn, I used this information to develop a targeted plan for introductions, set realistic growth expectations and help my new physician prep for any introductory visits.

And, finally…Write the Story.  Being able to evaluate and communicate the bottom line impact tied to specific provider and/or service line campaigns can help you understand what works best in your market and help communicate the impact your efforts have on the practice or organization as a whole.  Consider the actions you have taken and look for subsequent changes in the data (i.e. first referrals, increase in new patients, a rise in targeted procedures, positive shifts in payor mix, changes in volumes for a targeted group of referral sources as compared to the market as a whole).  How can you pair these results with anecdotal accounts that help let others know you and your team are rocking the referral development game?

For more information on how Marketware can help your organization with data analytics, contact Carrie Bennett.

We’ve always partnered with Hospitals and Healthcare Systems to develop better relationships.  Tiller-Hewitt HealthCare Strategies works with hospitals, hospital systems and other healthcare organizations to create Market Share growth through high-performance physician liaison programs, provider referral networks, and physician onboarding and retention programs.  To discuss how Tiller-Hewitt HealthCare Strategies can work for you, email or give us a call at 618.651.8700.