You referral coordinators + your physician liaisons should be your “A team“.
While your physician liaisons go hunt every day, your referral coordinators should be taking care of the “house” per se.
Your referral coordinators are your farmers and every door your physician liaisons open, every account they “land”.. Your referral coordinators expand.
First things first – NEVER assume that you can change the way your referring partners send you referrals.
Make it the path of least resistance for referring partners to send you referrals.
Whether they choose to send you referrals directly from their EMR to your fax, using your Direct address, faxing you directly, using P2P (jointhenetwork) or any other 3rd party referral software..
The ONE thing you can control is how you report back to your referring partners on referral status, patient appointment statuses, visit notes. I suggest that you DO control and influence this part of the game.
This allows you to centralize “closing the loop” with your referring partners, showing them historical information of all referrals sent, showing them data on referral volumes, how quickly your co managed patients are getting appointments, how many attempts you are making per patient to get those patients to come in, how you are handling no-shows, cancellations etc..
This reporting aspect tied to the fact that your referring partners can look up their patients at any point is KEY to cementing your relationship with them.
For this, you are going to need some help from your IT team or do some spreadsheet magic.
First of all, you are going to need to help your referral coordinators monitor all incoming channels of referrals – namely
- Referral websites emails
- Referral website faxes
- Referral emails
- Inbound referral phone calls
- Patients calling in to make appointments based on the referral pad your referring partner might have given their patient
- Direct faxes from EMRs
- Situations where you acquire a new patient that wasn’t a referral but you captured their PCP information – this is KEY and a GOLDEN opportunity for you to open even more doors.. DO NOT IGNORE THIS CHANNEL.
For inbound calls – you are going to enable your referral coordinators to be in sync with your appointment scheduling team (inbound or front desk) to ensure that they capture referring physician information for each patient appointment.
- Even a simple spreadsheet that captures the following will help:
- Facility Name — where the patient came from
- Facility Location — which location the patient came from
- Referring Physician with NPI — this is crucial and inbound agents should always capture this info
- Facility Number — nice to have the referring location phone number
- Facility Fax Number — if possible
- Patient Name — of course 🙂
- Patient DOB — of course 🙂
- Patient Phone no. — at a minimum, this will help your call center to call patient back to find out additional information
- If Referral, Call from — whether patient called after being referred or the referring physician called directly to get an appointment.
Trust me – being diligent about collecting this information really does help.
This at least gives you a reason to get in touch with the provider.
Hey, open more doors 🙂