As a physical therapist, it is imperative that you engage in the process of marketing to patients that may have a need or an interest in the services and treatments that you offer; however, you must be willing to go a step further. By this, we mean marketing to the physicians that your patients see on a regular basis. In taking this step, you will find that you have a higher level of physician referrals. In this comprehensive guide, we will expound on steps that will assist in marketing to physicians in and around the area of your physical therapy practice.
1. Identify the Potential Targets in Your Marketing Efforts
To identify the potential targets in your marketing efforts to physicians, you should start by outlining the five largest and most popular practices in your area that offer primary care.
You will start with this as most patients who experience neuromusculoskeletal issues will start with the resolution of those problems by making an appointment with their primary care doctor.
In many instances, these providers will refer their patients out for more comprehensive treatments tailored to their needs. Once you have identified the target practices, you may move on to step 2.
2. Make Yourself Known
Now that you have the largest and most popular primary care practices in your area, it is time to make you and your physical therapy practice known. There are many creative ways you may succeed in this endeavor. The following outlines some of the measures you may take when marketing to physicians:
- First, create a comprehensive brochure that outlines the various conditions, services, and treatments that your physical therapy practice occurs. You should ensure that the handouts are colorful, to the point, and include pictures.
- Next, make an appointment to meet with a consultant at the practice. At this appointment, provide an overview of the handout, give a copy to the practice, and back up the success rate of your services and treatments by providing information regarding patient satisfaction scores and scores relating to the outcomes of those that you have treated.
- Finally, leave your information with the physician’s office. On your way out, inquire if you may leave copies of the handout you created in the patient waiting area. Not only will this keep you fresh in the mind of the person who approves referrals to your practice, but your information will be seen by those that are seen at that practice.
3. Develop an Open Line of Communication
All too often, when a doctor refers a patient to a specialist for treatment, the line of communication stops. It is up to the patient to share information from their PCP to their physical therapist and information from their physical therapist to their PCP. Physicians take responsibility for the care that their patients receive. They make referrals in good faith. They want to know the progress of their patients. You should take it upon yourself to develop an open line of communication with the referring physician.
If a physician trusts you and believes that you are acting in the best interest of their patients, they will instantly provide you with referrals.
The only way to build this trust and recognition is to communicate and show the doctor that you are willing to work with them to create the best outcome for their patients. You will be viewed as an expert who genuinely cares about the patient’s health.
Once you develop communication, the relationship with the doctor will develop and your physical therapy practice will receive a large influx of patient referrals from physicians.
4. Focus on the Data
It is a known fact that – throughout history – many physical therapy practices have far extended themselves in order to win over the favor of their referring physicians.
Examples of activities engaged in is having expensive gift baskets sent to a practice, providing free lunches, and even providing physicians with free services in the practice.
Yes, all of this is usually recognized, appreciated, and MAY work, but why bother investing so much time and money into something that you can do by simply focusing on the data.
When you work with the patients that are referred to you – or even those that aren’t – you should ensure that you check in with their physician on a regular basis to inform them of how their patient’s treatment is going. You should inquire as to the base focus they have in treating their patient.
If you are working with patients with certain conditions – such as those that impact the bones – you should learn as much as you are able to regarding those conditions. Then, provide numbers, statistics, and other types of data to the physicians to prove that your treatments are, indeed, effective.
5. Make it Mutually Beneficial
In the past, all patients had to be referred by a doctor or specialist to a physical therapist to have care. Of course, we all know with direct access therapy that patients may now pursue physical therapy on their own. You may use this to your advantage when attempting to strengthen a relationship with the main and most popular physicians in your area.
I bet you are wondering why, right? It is simple. You will come across patients that pursue treatment on their own that will be beyond your scope of support.
In turn, you will make a recommendation to that patient to seek medical treatment with a physician. You may then refer that patient to the physician or physicians that you are developing professional relationships with.
When you make a referral to a physician, that physician is sure to remember you. As a result, they are more likely to send business back your way.
By making it mutually beneficial to one another both you and the physician reap the rewards!
It’s All in the Value
When you are attempting to market to physicians, you should remember that everything rests in the overall value. If that doctor offers certain types of services and/or treatments, design services and/or treatments that work together with those that the doctor offers. You should also create a website that includes a lot of education, information, facts, and figures. They will appreciate the degree of comprehension that you offer and will be more comfortable sending their patients to you.
In addition to the above, you may increase value among physicians in a wide array of other ways.
If a physician sends ten referrals, offer a free appointment for the physician. You may invite the doctor in to do a free evaluation of your practice. You should strive to make their referrals a priority.
If you offer special treatments and special types of sessions, offer the physician discounts for both them and their patients. Remember, it is important to go a step ahead of the competition. If you make an effort to move three steps ahead at all times, you are likely to end up with massive amounts of referrals from physicians.
We here at Colorado Physical Therapy Network would like to invite you to join us. If you want to connect and network with other physical therapists, physicians, and professionals in the field, you will benefit immensely from what we offer our members. We have many tools, resources, and capabilities that will help your physical therapy practice reach higher levels of success – in terms of patients, referrals, payments, and profits! If you would like to learn more or would like to join us, visit the following link: https://coloradophysicaltherapynetwork.com/application-forms/