Referrals are considered the second highest quality source of leads. Virtually all industries benefit from referrals, including the healthcare industry. For example, doctors often make referrals to specialists for patients who need a certain care or treatment.
For Healthcare Specialists, referrals are crucial for business growth and stability. Referrals directly impact a business’s ability to grow, and provide quality care in an efficient and timely manner.
One of the biggest challenges related to referrals is managing them. This is especially true for the healthcare industry, where sensitive information has to pass from one medical provider to another. This is where a referral management system can be invaluable.
The main goal of these systems is to streamline and improve communication among all healthcare providers (i.e. physicians, specialists, etc.) regarding a patient’s care. If you are thinking about investing in a referral management system, finding the right one is essential.
Knowing the benefits that this feature provides, can help ensure that you get the best system for your practice and patients.
Ability to Find the Right Provider
Finding the right provider is a huge challenge. You must consider factors such as:
- A patient’s insurance coverage
- The convenience factor
- Treatment required
With the right referral management system in place, finding the right referral doctor is not only possible but easy.
For example, if Dr. Williams is a primary care physician and has a patient that complains of chest pain, he will do an initial exam and workup. After making a diagnosis, he refers him to a specialist for ongoing, specialized care. Dr. Williams searches for the best cardiologist in the area. The management systems considers a patients and physician’s needs. This helps you discover the ideal referral and then create it with ease.
One of the problems for many doctors is referral leakage. In fact, this has contributed to millions of dollars in lost revenue for many health systems. Patient/referral leakage occurs when patients seek or are referred to an out of network healthcare provider. Eligibility Verification and other accurate and pertinent patient information can prevent this scenario.
Reduced Lead Times
There are several operational inefficiencies that occur in the workplace. They can cause bottlenecks in the care continuum. Long lead times or deadtime are inconvenient for both providers and patients.
Issues will always exist. However, when you invest in a referral management solution, you can save a significant amount of time. This time is saved on processes your health care organization can control.
Having an efficient process in place to reduce lead times will help mitigate these issues. It can also help provide shorter patient wait times, higher satisfaction levels, and eventually, more patients receiving the care they need.
Overall, this provides improved care for patients, along with higher satisfaction levels for patients.
Business and Marketing Tool for Provider
For most providers, the ability to grow their business is a top priority. Referral Management, therefore, is one of the powerful Business and Marketing tool for healthcare providers.
As a Business Tool :
- Manage incoming referrals.
- Effective Tracking and Follow-ups increase patient population.
- Formulate Business Expansion at the rate at which they want to grow.
As a Marketing Tool :
- Track referral sources & incoming leads.
- Target effective marketing campaigns.
- Analyze their marketing budget for greater reach and expansion.
to keep track of their incoming patient referrals and source. It is total patient tracking from start to becoming active patients.
The tool offers effective tracking and follow-ups, which help ensure providers convert referred patients into an active patient status (i.e. permanent patient) for their practice.
For patients, there’s a benefit, too. It results in improved patient care thanks to the patient having faster access to care.
Improved Rates of Completion
When you have a referral management system in place, you can track the status of all patient referrals. You can also ensure patients are scheduled and seen in an appropriate amount of time.
For example, with some systems, you receive a notification when a receiving provider has scheduled an appointment with a patient you have referred to their care. You also receive notifications when providers see the patient.
With this process, you have complete transparency along with a higher quality of care. Both the referring and the receiving organization can message each other directly and notify one another in real-time regarding a patient’s appointment status. They can also exchange files between the offices securely.
When you can track your patient’s progress through the entire care continuum, it helps improve the utilization for all involved providers and their staff. With the right system in place, it’s possible to see more patients and provide a higher level of care.
It also puts the power of scheduling appointments in the patient’s hands, based on the provider’s availability and the patient’s needs. A primary care provider can send patients to specialists just by searching through an available directory and evaluating a provider based on quality, familiarity, and reviews.
Furthermore, an easy, and efficient referral management system provides a great first impression for referral sources and new patients right at the beginning.
Implementing a Quality Referral Management System Makes Sense
As you can see from the information above, finding and using a referral management system is something that makes sense. It is going to be beneficial for your office and your patients.
Without this system, you may continue to experience referral leakage. This can cause lost revenue and higher levels of patient dissatisfaction. Don’t let this happen when there is a viable and effective solution you can use.
If you are ready to find a quality system, check out our solutions. Our team offers referral management solutions that will exceed your expectations and provide all the benefits here and more.
Get a Full Demonstration PrognoCIS EHR and see how Referral Management can positively impact your Practice.
Scalable from single physician clinics to large, multi-location and specialty practices; cloud-based or client-server models available
Complete scheduling management, text reminders, e-prescription and lab automation
iPhone and iPad compatible
HIPAA Compliant; CCHIT; ONC-ATCB; HL-7 interfacing
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