Stratasan Blog

Best Practices: Measuring Physician Relations Success

Why the Right Referral Software is Necessary to Ensure Goals Are Being Met

By Jackie DeGroat and Sean Conway

Hospitals depend heavily on their referring physicians for patient volume and revenue, which is why developing and maintaining relationships with these physicians is so important. Physician Liaisons are the face, voice, eyes, and ears of this demanding effort. Physicians have a lot of options for referrals and this competition puts even more pressure on physician relations teams to effectively manage provider relationships.

Physician relations teams are responsible for strengthening relationships between physicians and their hospital or health system, with the goal of driving more referrals in-network. There are many components that make up a quality physician relations program, such as a strategic sales plan, effective encounters, and meaningful conversations. But to ensure program goals are being met, physician relations teams must track and measure their initiatives so they can successfully identify opportunities for improvement.

Tracking Physician Referrals: Why Lengthy Wait Times for Specialist Referrals Should Affect Your Strategy

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 canand shouldalso 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.

Crack the Code on Your Physician Referral Strategy

Why It's Time to Reconsider Your Source

Download the White Paper

Whether it proves to be an opportunity or a curse, one thing is certain; today’s healthcare providers are living in interesting times. With the U.S. healthcare system facing a monumental physician shortage, as millions of new patients flood the market, hospitals and health systems have never had a more urgent need for accurate, actionable intelligenceespecially with regard to fostering and maintaining their physician referrals to drive strategic growth as they move into the latter half of 2016, and beyond.

The Data Doesn't Lie: Things That The Data Will Tell You That Doctor's Won't

As a Physician Relations Rep, data is the foundation upon which your entire outreach strategy lives or dies. Without a reliable data source and a trustworthy physician referral tool, your strategy will lack the full depth of understanding needed to meet your annual growth goals.

The goals of a Physician Relations program are to:

  • Promote physician engagement in order to grow volume in alignment with the hospital's strategic plan.
  • Engage and connect physicians to other physicians and to support key hospital services.
  • Unearth any quality, customer service, or access issues physicians may be experiencing.

Choosing the Right Data Source for your Physician Relations Program

In the modern healthcare landscape, the need for reliable physician intelligence and a strategic physician relations strategy is only continuing to grow. With 32 million newly insured Americans entering the healthcare system as a result of the Affordable Care Act and a physician shortage—projected to climb to more than 90,000 by 2020—healthcare providers must have a comprehensive understanding of the physician relationships within their market, the available service line opportunities, and an accurate measure of inbound and outbound patient trends in order to stay ahead of the growing healthcare need.

When building a physician relations strategy, it is important for healthcare providers to be tapped into a reliable data source and a trustworthy physician referral tool. An understanding of the datasets available and reasons why certain physician tools use certain datasets can empower you to make the right decision in the tool that will best suit your needs.

Using the best available data can provide a clear roadmap for health providers focused on strategic growth. By fostering effective communication with physicians, relations experts can identify trends, issues, and opportunities and ultimately improve the overall quality of patient care delivered to their service area by accurately understanding the market needs. There are three main data sources to consider. Use of one or more of these datasets can be helpful when building a well-rounded physician relations strategy.

Best Practices in Physician Relations

Interviews with: Mitzi Kent and Dustie Maguire

Originally shared as a webinar, on April 12, 2016, this interview with Stratasan and LifePoint Health discusses the organization of physician relations, goals and responsibilities, hiring and leadership, relationship building techniques, intelligence and information, and compliance. You can see presentation slides and hear the audio from the webinar presentation here.

 

 

Best Practices for Physician Recruitment and Data Sensitivity

The misuse of physician recruitment data has become big business for the Department of Justice. Since January 2009, the DOJ has recovered a total of more than $25 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $16 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal healthcare programs. In the face of this increasing enforcement activity, thoughtful understanding and appropriate implementation of referral and recruitment data is more important than ever.  

Physician Relations: YOU are the Market Expert

by Tony Camarata

The relationship between physicians and provider facilities is impacting much of the changing landscape of healthcare. Physician Liaisons are the face, voice, and ears of this demanding effort. Tasked with building relationships that will drive growth and revenue, this position needs the support of directionally correct, objective data that can support and enhance their market  assessments. After all, as the Physician Liaison, you are the market expert.

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