Delivering Health Care

Anne Moss Rogers
Marketing Health Services
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Key Takeaways
  • If a practice, service line or clinic depends on physician referrals, you need a plan that will serve as the foundation of a successful specialty clinic or practice.​
  • Your referral strategy should be rooted in education, not selling. 

  • Hire a physician referral liaison and figure out r​eferral patterns.

How to create a successful referral marketing strategy

Having a nurse deliver brochures and bagels is not referral marketing. If a practice, service line or clinic depends on physician referrals, you need a plan that will serve as the foundation of a successful specialty clinic or practice.

For example, we once branded a pediatric plastic surgeon the “quick stitch surgeon.” This was a surgeon who was on call in the event of a pediatric facial laceration emergency. A physician liaison marketed the surgeon’s services to emergency rooms and urgent care centers, as well as to some primary care physician practices.  

The marketing materials—known as “leave-behinds”—that the physician liaison dropped off at various health care organizations were very simple and outlined what the admitting physician should do first in case of a facial laceration to minimize damage or avoid an error that could leave scars (education). It outlined four simple steps that included who to call and how (simplicity and call to action). 

Another leave-behind featured a new diagnostic procedure. The physician liaison was asked by several nurses which insurance plans were accepted, so we created a list and the liaison delivered it to all the practices that she visited, at which point we saw a robust increase in referred patients for that diagnostic procedure. 

Here are five guidelines for ensuring a successful referral marketing program:

1) Your referral strategy should be rooted in education, not selling. It may be called marketing, but really, your strategy should involve educating referring doctors about the services that you offer. For example, instead of a brochure, you might want a high-quality, one-page printed piece. When was the last time you opened a brochure? Don’t assume that referring physicians have any more time than you do. ​

The following article is available exclusively to Marketing Health Services Subscribers and Members.

     

Author Bio:

 
Anne Moss Rogers
Anne Moss Rogers, a former copywriter with 14 years of health care marketing experience, is co-founder and creative director of Impression Marketing, a digitally focused marketing agency. Connect with her on Twitter, @ImpressionM, and at Impression-Marketing.com.

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