AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 16

RUNNING THE PRACTICE // MARKETING
XXXXXXX MINUTE

USING TECHNOLOGY TO

TAKE BACK LOST REFERRALS
Marc-Fran├žois Bradley

A

s patients continue to
play a bigger role in
their own healthcare,
the need to improve
communication
throughout the referral process becomes
paramount. How can you become
easier and more efficient to work
with? How will you track referral
sources? How will you improve
the experience for both the
referring doctor and the patient?
How will you ask current referring doctors to send you all their
referrals and get new doctors to
refer to you? Answering these
questions will help you determine
how to take back lost referrals and
win new ones.
Some practices might add to their
teams, investing in a role to develop

16

AE // July/Aug 18

and manage relationships with referring doctors. Some might focus on
improving the referral experience for
referring doctors and referred patients
through technology.
What's key: Practices that equip
their staff and referring doctors
with a better way of communicating, scheduling, and exchanging
information will enhance their
reputation and gain market share.
COMPARING RELATIVE
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Tools such as dedicated referral portal
technology, referral management
networks (a close cousin of referral
portals), and to some extent electronic health records (EHR) tied into a
regional health information exchange
(HIE) system can tremendously
streamline referral capture.

With EHR alone, you can send
notes back to referring doctors. Often this is a static communication
limited to a certain format and specific information coming from the
patient's electronic chart. Coupled
with a good HIE system, though,
you might be able to receive
referrals into your EHR from other
doctors on the HIE. Unfortunately,
however, typical EHR technology is focused on a transactional
export of data and not necessarily
on workflow. This means you can
send a patient's chart or notes after
surgery as part of a transition of
care, but there is minimal tracking,
and the system lacks alerts, detailed
reporting, etc.
Since mass participation in
an HIE network varies widely
by geography, as does optom-



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4

AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover1
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover2
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 1
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover3
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