This is a great article for practice administrators, hospital administrators, or physicians looking to boost thier referral sources.  The original article is located here in a downloadable PDF.  The company, healthcaresuccess.com, does a really good job of bringing to light some key points in grooming a referral base. It is a very realistic approach to what really matters and how referral sources either stay consistent or slowly dissapear. This is an area many physicians need to focus on, even when referrals are plenty. Below is an overview of the “secrets” that the article describes in more detail:

Secret 1: The Process of Building Doctor Referrals Is All About Relationships, Relationships and Relationships
Secret 2: Prioritize Your Referral Base
Secret 3: Protect What You Have Worked So Hard to Build
Secret #4: Staffs Often Drive Referrals in the Real World
Secret #5: Give Referring Offices Exactly What They Want
Secret #6: Food Still Works
Secret #7: Gifts and Entertainment Work, Too
Secret # 8: Communicate Regularly and Consistently
Secret #9: Hire One Or More Physician Liaisons
Secret #10: A Surprising Ingredient to Look for When Hiring a Physician Liaison is Commissioned Sales Experience.
Secret #11: Never Send Your Physician Liaison Into Battle Unarmed

The key take-away from this article is that it takes time to develop the necessary relationships that will lead to lasting referrals. The staff members, especially MA’s and Front Office staff, at your referral sources do play a key role in funneling patients to you or somewhere else and they should not be discounted. Taking care of them may go farther than you think. Focusing on everyone is not the best use of time, but the prioritization process described will make your time most effective in driving referrals.

The article has a few well placed quotes to get the point across about relationship management, but one in particular stands out and really drives the point home…

“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” – Anthony Robbins

This is a great mentality to keep in mind with every referral source…