8 Ways to Keep a Strong Doctor Referral Relationship

  • doctor referral marketing intrepy
Kelley Knott
CEO, Intrepy Healthcare Marketing

8 Undeniable Tips to Create Doctor Referral Relationships

Building a strong a relationship with referring physicians is crucial to sustaining doctor referrals and practice growth. The main component and leading member of your doctor referral marketing team is the physician relations manager or a physician liaison. A physician relations manager builds doctor referral relationships to generate new patient referrals and practice revenue. Maintaining strong relationships with local referring doctors will expand the line of communication between healthcare providers and build the medical practice. Below are tips to maintain a healthy doctor referral relationship.

1. Understanding the Doctor Referral Relationship

When planning a visit to an existing referring physician make sure you refresh yourself with the current referral situation. Understand the relationship that has been built between the two doctors, perhaps they have known each other for years or did they just begin referring. Is the referring doctor part of the same hospital network? These are all questions that the physician relations marketing director should ask before visiting.

2. Be Prepared

Gather all the information and notes from previous visits to make sure you are prepared to provide a quality visit to the referring physician. You want to take in account that it’s about building a strong and reliable doctor referral relationship. The physician relations director will make notes and short list of objectives that needs to be accomplished while there. The physician liaison should provide value to the referring physician by addressing any concerns or requests in an efficient manner. Include the information that specifically applies to them and their patients discussing the mutual accepted insurances and affiliated hospital programs.

3. Frequent Visits to Doctor Referral

Build a reasonable healthcare marketing visit schedule to make sure that your referral marketing team or physician relations manager is attentive to the referring physician needs. The last thing you want to hear from a referring physician is that they feel neglected or unrecognized. Make yourself accessible to them so that if they may require materials or have a question regarding patient care they feel there is a quick and easy line of contact. Providing personal contact information will ensure doctor referral requests reach the right person, whether it is the providing physician or physician relations director.

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4. Responsiveness is Key for Physician Liaisons

Make note of the time spent during visits and what factors are most important to medical staff and doctor. If the referring doctor mentions a way the office prefers to handle a doctor referral then accommodate those needs as quickly as possible. Any requests or concerns should be handled at the highest priority to ensure the referring physician can trust you with the highest quality of patient care. When maintaining a strong doctor referral relationship there needs to be a level of trust and accountability.

5. Gratitude for the Referrals

Express a level of gratitude to the referring practice for considering your practice the most qualified to continue their patient’s care. When the physician liaison is marketing to the practice they should acknowledge that the referring doctor has sent new patients and thank them. There are other ways to thank a referring medical practice by writing personal thanks or the providing physician to personally visit the referring doctor.

6. Support of the Physician Liaison

Keep track of the marketing efforts and new services or new doctors at your referring physician’s practice. Introduce yourself to new doctors and executive staff members in the office to extend your relationship with all referring doctors. Show support by referring to them for services that they can provide your patients looking for that care. Attending a referring physician’s open house or medical marketing event is another great way to show your support.

7. Familiarize Yourself with Referring Doctor’s Practice

The physician relations manager should get to know the referring physician staff. Know the roles and responsibilities of staff members to become more efficient between visits. Familiarizing yourself with staff members is a great way to remain memorable and will make the marketing easier and more enjoyable. The nurses and staff members are the backbones of the practice so make sure you show them some love, bring treats or ask about their families. Making a small effort to meet the staff can go a long way!

8. Respectful

Patient care will always come first when it comes to a doctor’s time so keep in mind when meeting a potential doctor referral to be quick and to the point. Don’t require a lot of a doctor’s time during physician liaison marketing visits and don’t request to speak with the referring doctor every visit. There are other members in the office to direct healthcare marketing concerns some even more qualified to deal with referrals.


Remember that maintaining a strong relationship with referring physicians means making sure they’re happy. Relationships are built on mutual’ trust and when it comes to healthcare marketing for physicians patient care is first!

At Intrepy we know the importance of building strong doctor referral relationships as part of your medical marketing strategy. If you are looking to build a physician liaison marketing program or comprehensive training for your liaisons let’s work together! Contact us by calling 678-250-4757 or filling out a form for a FREE consultation.

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