Three Keys to Successful Physician Referral Management

The consumerization of healthcare doesn’t impact the patient population alone — it also impacts how Health Care Professionals (HCP’s) want to receive marketing communications. With physician expectations being set by non-healthcare industries, heath systems and their referral liaisons need to dramatically improve the way they communicate with PCP’s and referring physicians to stay relevant. And according to Beckers Hospital Review, 92% of all Providers could improve their referral management practices. Ninety-two percent!

Salesforce’s fourth annual “State of Marketing” report from April 2017 noted that 70% of Provider Marketing Leaders believe a connected customer journey positively impacts both revenue growth and customer satisfaction. It’s not too difficult to imagine a connected referring physician journey having a similar impact. Does your health system have the tools in place to accomplish such a feat? According to that same research report, only 54% of health systems are using a lead nurturing system in any capacity today, and only 57% are using any form of marketing automation tool at all.

As the wave of vertical and horizontal M&A activity in healthcare continues to transform the landscape of Primary Care Physicians (PCP’s) in your market, it’s time to evolve your marketing strategies and seize the opportunity in your market. Here are three key strategies to focus on in the months ahead:

1. Engage & Educate Your Physician Community with Relevant, Automated Content

Generic newsletters that offer the same content to all readers no longer works. According to the Annual Healthcare Professional Communication Report in 2017, nearly 70% of doctors prefer to receive communications via email, so it’s more difficult than ever to stand out in a crowded inbox. To do so, the message has to be timely, relevant, and provide educational value. Leveraging a marketing automation tool to build automated programs that engage your referring physicians across their professional continuum — from new PCP’s who recently joined a practice, to retiring physicians who are introducing their panel to new physicians, to recently acquired groups seeking new in-network referring relationships — is a critical tool to success. If you’re among the 53% of Providers who don’t have such a system in place, now is the time to invest in your future growth.

2. Amplify Your Message by Leveraging Your Physician Liaisons

Creating alignment between your corporate marketing and Physician Liaisons is critical to your success. Your Liaisons are inherently closer to the PCP’s than anyone else in your organization. Given their role, they have the insights to know which content would most advance your organization’s relationship with that referring physician. Enabling them with pre-approved, curated marketing emails that can be sent on-demand will not only help them be more effective, but it will also deliver the kind of experience that builds your brand. Tools like Salesforce Engage help you do just that.

3. Analyze Everything

Given the seismic changes happening in healthcare, it’s more important than ever to approach problems with a deeply analytical mindset. Reporting on things like recency, frequency, which procedures are being referred, etc, is of critical importance at both the individual physician, as well as group level. Yet today, only 60% of Providers are using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, according to Salesforce’s most recent State of Marketing report. Without such a tool in place, analyzing this kind of data can be difficult. A focused CRM deployment to enable your physician liaison efforts, align the marketing and liaison teams, and increase the utilization of your specialists.

For more information on how marketing automation can help you automate content, amplify your message, and analyze data, check out this recorded webinar, or contact Salesforce today.