Using referral pads for physician referrals

Tips for referral coordinators and physician liaisons on getting physician referrals via referral pads distributed to physician offices.

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As a physician liaison, one of the tools you have is a referral pad.

At a minimum, you should be dropping off referral pads to potential referring providers every 2 weeks.

Why every 2 weeks?

Because each week, much like you, other physician liaisons will be dropping off their referral pads as well.

I have noticed that the referral coordinators or the front desk usually stack referral pads of various specialists on top of each other.

Unless someone has a strong, existing relationship with another specialist, they just refer patients using the referral pad at the top of the pile.

You want to be on top of that referral pad pile 🙂

That’s why you drop off referral pads every 2 weeks.

That, and an opportunity to get some face time 🙂

Challenges with the physician referral pad

The referring doctor or doctor’s staff writes down the name and number of the referred doctor on a notepad or piece of paper and gives it to the patient. 

In this case, the referring doctor knows that they referred the patient but the “referred to” doctor doesn’t know that they were sent a referral.

It is up to the patient to call the doctor they were referred to and make an appointment.

Research has shown that 50+ % patients do not call to make that appointment.

I have noticed this as a continuing challenge as well.

More often than not, my practice(s) wouldn’t even know that we received a referral. So, we would lose out on the opportunity.

To make things worse, the referring provider would call us to enquire about their patients. We would have no clue about the patient at all.

While referral pads are a necessary evil, understand the downsides / risks with these. This way, you know what you are up against.