I have seen that for most smaller practices, IT is a challenge and physician liaisons are thrown into the field with little to no tools nor correct data to hunt.
Imagine yourself in a physician liaison’s role. What do you need to be successful?
- A clearly defined territory – i.e. exact boundaries of where you should be hunting for referring physician partners
- A clearly defined list of accounts in your territory – i.e. a list of all practices, their specialties, their locations – and if a practice has multiple locations, a clear indication of this association of multiple locations to the same practice.
- A well defined list of contact information for your accounts (fax, phone numbers are a must have, websites are a nice to have)
- A clearly defined list of contacts within your accounts – i.e which physicians practice at the account, front desk person(s) name(s) (if possible), referral coordinator’s name (if possible)
- A well defined list of contact information for these contacts within your accounts (fax, phone numbers and emails if possible)
- A well defined list of availability information for these contacts if possible. Many times, liaisons waste time going to practices expecting to be seen by a doctor – only to find out that the doctor only comes in twice a week on such and such day(s) of the week
- Provider/Account intelligence – if possible, a list of information that tells you more about the practice, the kind of plans they accept, the kind of procedures they do, the number of medicare/medicaid patients they see etc.. These require a little bit more legwork by your IT staff but are well worth your time
- A complete history of contacts / touch points and activity history with that practice (e.g. rep 1 has visited 3 times, rep 2 has called 5 times, rep 1 has faxes 3 times, doctor A had sent referrals before but stopped sending 2 years ago, doctor B just sent a new referral etc)
- Training on your own practice’s strengths, weaknesses, areas of opportunities, threats to your practice
- Marketing collateral that can be used for conversation starters, drop off / leave behind material at the practices, key differentiators between you and your competitor
- Referral pads or an even easier way for these partners to refer patients to you. You cannot dictate how this referring physician would send referrals – whether they call in, send a referral via P2P or their own EMR, whether they send via fax, your referral pad or whatever fits within their workflow. You need to prepare your farmer / referral coordinator team with that information
- To be able to add account intelligence while you are out in the field and are going door to door. These could include newly discovered staff name, numbers, details on the staff .. or the same with doctors that you discovered when you visited the practice
- To be able to add reminders to yourself about following up with a practice on specific dates/times
- To be able to check in/check out of the practices you visit so that you don’t constantly have to report back to your boss manually
- To be able to define your route for the day intelligently (i.e. optimized to minimize driving times) without having to be a google maps wizard
- To be able to communicate with your practice staff instantly while you are at the practice you are visiting
- To be able to have a clear idea about the practice and the patients they have referred to your practice over the past year (at least) as soon as you enter the practice – so you are not caught off guard while you’re there
- More can be added based on your own unique ways of hunting