MD Referrals? The 6 Keys to Building Interdisciplinary Referral Relationships in 2015-
Would you like to increase the amount of interdisciplinary referrals you receive in 2015? Below you will find 6 keys to dramatically improve your physician outreach. By implementing these strategies you will have a solid plan to build interdisciplinary referral relationships. I highly recommend viewing our Free Tools after reading through this step-by-step toolkit to kickstart your 2015 outreach plan.
You can only build upon what you measure. Tracking sheets are the fundamental to your success. The two most important tracking sheets are 1) MD Monthly Tracking Sheet and the 2) MD Lunch Tracking Sheet. These two simple documents will help you stay focused and accurate with your outreach efforts. The more accurate and focused your outreach becomes, the better ROI you will receive and the results will continue to improve. At The Evidence Based Chiropractor, we offer these sheets free of charge to all chiropractors. Get them HERE. I have included all the fields/criteria which we have found to be important in maintaining your relationships.
Gathering Your List
There are a few ways which you can gather your physician list. I have gone into great detail regarding this in the blog “Building Your Physician List” which is available HERE.
Gathering and building your list is crucial because the profile of the doctors, and their sub-specialty, should be tailored to your practice style. The bulk of each list should be primary care physicians (approximately 75%). However, you can fill out the back end of your list with doctors such as pediatricians, sports medicine doctors, orthopedic surgeons, etc., depending upon your personal practice interests. I recommend starting with a list of at least 50 local physicians.
Verify Your List
Verification of your list is where the “rubber meets the road”. Verifying your list ensures that your communications are received; saving you time and postage. Additionally, the verification process offers a great opportunity for your first contact with their office.
Verification is as simple as making the following phone call, “Hello this is John calling on behalf of Dr. Langmaid’s office. I am calling to confirm that Dr. Smith is still practicing at your location of 123 Main Street.”
By verifying your list you are able to create extremely accurate tracking sheets. This will become extremely important as you fine tune your list throughout the year. Many medical practices neglect their online presence, so the verification process also helps you get a feel for their practice. You are then able to tailor your future meeting in a way which maximizes effectiveness.
Set Up Objectives
Your next step should be to establish some objectives for your outreach.
What is your anticipated ROI from your outreach?
How many current physician referrals am I receiving?
Am I interested in setting up meetings to build rapport?
How many physician referrals would you like per month?
How can I best serve this physicians patients?
What niche am I focusing on?
We review all of these questions with our members during their implementation call, and they always have access to my email and phone to talk strategy and decide what is best for them. However, I would encourage you to think through these questions and determine your professional objectives. The goal will be to increase incoming interdisciplinary referrals, but the process may vary office to office depending upon personality, location, and finances.
Establishing and scheduling meetings with local doctors on your list is a great way to accelerate your relationship building. This can build rapport and expand your network at a rapid pace. Our members have access to a full MD Meeting guide, but I invite you to download the abridged free version HERE.
For the outgoing chiropractor this can be an engaging and even “fun” activity. However, for those of us who are a bit more reserved it may seem like a daunting task. It is important to keep in mind that you know more about the spine and nervous system than 99% of doctors. Also, by being fully prepared (which is elaborated on in our guides) you will execute the meeting with the confidence and polish of a seasoned pro.
Outreach without follow through is likely to be ineffective, inefficient, and soon abandoned. As a fellow physician, you don’t need to be in the other doctors’ office every few weeks as a pharmaceutical rep would be. However, it is paramount that you reach out on a consistent basis. The hallmarks of The Evidence Based Chiropractor are our customized Monthly MD Research Briefs. These provide a welcomed monthly update in the realm of musculoskeletal care which helps position you as a knowledgeable and trusted colleague. I have found that most physicians are very interested in learning about advances in evidence based medicine. Thankfully for us, there is a plethora of research which shows chiropractic care as a safe and effective health care profession. It is extremely important that we take the opportunity to showcase this research to our local colleagues and help grow our profession to the prominence it deserves. No one will promote this fantastic research for us. The onus is on us. Get started today and build the relationships that can lead to referrals.