Is competition increasing in your community? For many, that is the case, with new medical and cosmetic-focused practices popping up more and more. This is great for patients, who have increased access and choice with their care. But as a practice, if you’re not continually working to set yourself apart from other offices, you may get passed over.
But a great way to bring new patients in the door is often right around you – referrals from other medical providers. Likely, you already have a referral plan in place and receive a steady amount. But if you aren’t building these relationships with other providers or would like to increase your number of referrals coming in, there are actions you can take.
Chances are, you’re already using social media to market your practice to potential patients, but are you using it to connect with potential referral sources? Other doctors and practices in your community are most likely on Facebook, Instagram, etc., so use these as connection channels too. LinkedIn is even more appropriate for making professional connections, and has specialty groups and forums for medical professionals.
It’s also important to build new referral relationships with doctors and medical professionals that share the same values and philosophies of care. Otherwise, issues with patient expectations and satisfaction may occur. If a patient is used to a type of care from their primary provider, they’ll likely expect to receive that same type of care if referred to you. If that doesn’t match with your values and approach to care, they may not become a regular patient and might leave you poor reviews.
Be a Good Neighbor
What other doctors are nearby in your community? Find out and introduce yourself if you haven’t. Building these relationships can have a great impact on your number of referrals. If a new medical clinic or practice opens up near you or in your town, this is a great opportunity to make a good first impression. Just starting out, they probably don’t have an existing referral network, so getting your foot in the door early can mean a valuable referral relationship for both parties going forward.
Reach Out to All Types of Clinical Professionals
Primary care providers are probably one of your largest sources of referrals. As general doctors, they may come across skin issues they’re not able to handle and refer patients out to dermatologists. But you don’t have to rely solely on general practitioners. Any doctor in any medical field may be a potential referral source. Perhaps a patient will mention how they would like cosmetic dermatology to go along with their cosmetic dentistry when at the dentist? These situations will be less prevalent than your typical general doctor referrals, but they still happen. So why not reach out to all these other doctors and specialists in your area and cover all your bases?
Connect at Professional Events
Whether you’re a guest or a speaker, professional events can be great opportunities to connect with other colleagues. If you’re presenting at the event, even better. This will give you the chance to show your dermatology or specialty expertise first-hand to the entire audience.
Looking for help with building your referral network and community presence? We’re always a phone call or click away to support your needs. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today.