Category Archives: Physician Relations

Is your physician relations program due for a check-up?

docCheck out the Physician Strategies Summit in Orlando, February 24 – 26, 2013.

Some years ago (okay, a few decades back), I had taken on the role of director of marketing for a large, tertiary teaching hospital in southeastern Virginia.  Even before the days of “big data,” we observed that a substantial percentage of patients in core clinical programs (e.g., cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, etc.) came from neighboring North Carolina communities.  So a colleague and I took a road trip through northeastern North Carolina to meet the physicians and hospitals that sent us those referrals.

Our intent was simple – to make introductions, say ‘thank you’ for the referrals, and ask what we could do better.  We were warmly welcomed – in fact, most were shocked that we were there.  “The first time ever” said a family practice doc, that he had been contacted much less visited by someone from our hospital.   And we learned a lot — how we could make referral processes easier, how doctor-to-doctor communications needed improvement, and how simple tools like maps (those were the days before GPS and MapQuest) and lists of local hotels and restaurants would be useful for their patients.  Continue reading

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