When patients require specialty care, a primary care physician (PCP), referred to as a “gatekeeper” in the healthcare industry, decides what specialist to refer the patient to. More often than not, patients must wait weeks, sometimes months, before being seen by a specialist. Lengthy wait times create frustration for both PCP’s and patients, worrying the delay will worsen the patient’s condition.
These lengthy wait times can—and should—also drastically affect your physician referral strategy. Tracking physician-to-physician referrals over too short a time period will give you a limited and likely incomplete view of where the physicians in your area are receiving and sending their patients.