What Referring Physicians Want

Here are six things referring physicians want: 1. To feel as if they’re part of the team.  Report to them promptly and send their patients back to them. 2. To be kept informed.  Send a thorough response – a detailed, diagnostic report – for every referral.  Include an executive summary at the beginning of the report. 3. To be able to reach you.  Be available to referring doctors.  Have a dedicated phone line for them and set aside a specific time each day to return calls.  When appropriate, provide them your cell phone number as well. 4. To get their patients in to see you in a prompt manner.  Schedule referred patients as quickly as possible.  Set aside a block of time in your schedule each day for these referred patients – and let referrers know about it. 5. To be educated.  Hold an annual educational seminar about your specialty and the latest concerns or new treatment options.  Arrange for continuing medical education credits. 6. To feel valued.  Make sure your regular referrers know that they are important to you.  Don’t assume they do or ever take this for granted.  Stay in touch and thank them regularly with a note or small gift or invite them to a special event.  It doesn’t have to be huge.  Just make it personal, and make it meaningful. One last thought.  Don’t forget the staff of your referrers.  They may be behind the scenes, but they may also carry a lot of influence.  Be sure to thank them by doing something special and unexpected.  You could focus on one office each month.  Send an appropriate gift to the office or have your staff take their staff to lunch. Have other things you would add to this list?  Please share.