Getting more physical therapy referrals from other healthcare providers is critical to helping patients heal – and to growing your practice.
It can be frustrating knowing that when a patient visits their doctor with pain, the provider usually follows an assessment, testing, medication path. As PTs, we know therapy can often reduce patients’ costs and help them feel better faster.
Therefore, the best approach is to start building relationships with physicians and explaining to them how PT works and how it can help their patients recover faster. Then, make it easy for them to refer patients to your clinic and develop a marketing program that enhances that referral relationship.
We get it. The last thing you have time for is to run across town for a meeting with a doctor who will probably be running late or might have to reschedule at the last minute.
But think of it this way. Even 15 minutes in front of that provider could mean 3 to 5 new referrals. What if you made time for your top 8 referrers each month? That could be 40 new patients for your practice.
To get more PT referrals, YOU need to be the face of your clinic to physicians. You want them to think of YOU when they have a patient in pain right in front of them.
The front desk or office manager should get the same attention and priority as the physician. In many cases, winning over the staff is as important to getting new patients.
Most doctors have only a baseline knowledge of PT, typically associating it with post-injury or post-surgical rehab.
Your goal is to demonstrate how PT can reduce recovery times, medical costs, prescription use, etc. By building a case around the care, value and successes of physical therapy, it becomes the first choice for a variety of conditions rather than a back-up option for a few.
One effective way to do this is to create a brochure or leave-behind. Include insights from reputable sources like the APTA on how physical therapy can reduce recovery times, medical costs, prescription use, etc. Then add any data from your own practice demonstrating the effectiveness of PT like patient compliance, successful discharges, testimonials, etc.
Investing the time to keep the referring provider in the loop pays off in more referrals.
Make it easy – and pleasurable – for the physician. Make them feel part of the solution in helping their patient be pain-free.
When a patient shares positive testimonial or review about your care, send a link to the referring provider. If you use a success story in your own social media, give credit to the referring provider.
Beyond that, using birthday cards, seasonal postcards and the occasional treat along with thank you emails each time the provider refers a new patient helps you deepen the relationship.
Start small, choose a strategy and make sure you consistently work your plan. It can take time, but your patience will translate to more patients. Isn’t that worth the effort?