Physician Liaison Marketing, Gaining the Competitive Edge
But there is one area of healthcare marketing that still requires that old fashioned approach, with what I like to call “boots on the ground marketing”, where the art of face to face networking and cultivating relationships requires building personal touch points.
This “boots to the ground marketing” approach is the world of physician liaison marketing.
The Importance of Physician Liaison Marketing
Physician liaison or physician relations marketing is becoming more popular than ever.
In the past most physician liaison marketing was conducted solely by large hospital systems but with the ever-changing world of healthcare private practice physicians, practice consulting groups, and larger medical systems are using physician liaison marketing to increase revenue.
The truth is that a certain percentage of your practice patient base is comprised of physician referrals.
Physician liaison marketing focuses on not only on increasing the amount of patient referrals but targets specific referrals to help increase high revenue procedures and surgeries.
- Increase physician referrals
- Drive new patients
- Increase high revenue surgeries and procedures
- Build strong local physician relationships
- Connect practice with healthcare community
- Streamline referral process
- And increase overall practice revenue
Gaining the competitive edge
As in every business competition will always be a factor and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Competition means there’s a market or need for your specialty.
I mean isn’t the saying that there is no Coke-A -Cola without Pepsi and vise versa?
Well back to healthcare, maybe your competition has moved into town or you feel that you’re not seeing the physician referrals you use to?
Perhaps you are part of a large practice with multiple physicians (maybe even specialties), and need to generate referrals for your particular specialty or focus on the high revenue referrals and not Medicaid?
This are examples of why physicians decide to implement physician liaison marketing for their medical practices and to stand out from their competition.
Here are 8 ways to gain the competitive edge with physician liaison marketing:
- Unique approach
- Level of Training
- Patient experience
I always view competition as an opportunity. You will hear me mention one of my favorite sayings frequently when I teach and train physician liaisons about competition and that is…
“You don’t have to be the best; you just have to be better.”
I actually learned this from a college professor of mine and have applied it to my competitive marketing, but what it means is evaluating your competition, addressing what they do, and improving that process.
Not trying to make a big plan of being the BEST physician liaison there ever was but simplifying it and making real action items that you can achieve. These action items are based on what is currently being done in your territory and improving it.
A good physician liaison will know exactly who the competition is and what they are providing referring physicians and patients and do it better.
This is accomplished by taking the opportunity to address the referring physicians concerns and taking immediate action.
Beat your competitors by simply being more convenient to work with. This can be a game changer for creating a referral relationship with referring doctors. Make it too easy for them that they simply pick you.
Simply being available can be the make or break in a physician referral. Consider ways that you, your practice, and physicians can make yourselves more available to your referring doctors.
Are there ways that you can target new referrals or increase referrals based on the fact your practice is simply more accessible? This means travel, location, or maybe even digitally.
What are the unique approaches your physicians take during certain surgeries or procedures that improve the quality of life for the patient or the relationship between the referring physician?
This can be an important differentiator when discussing why to choose your practice for a referral.
Level of Training or Degree
Do you have a physician or multiple physicians who have completed the highest level of training for a specific condition?
This is important because sometimes referrals can be lost to competition who may also see a certain condition but perhaps are a better fit for your physicians based on their advanced training.
Are you aware of how you can improve the patient experience at your medical practice?
This is important because you can address this during a referring physician meeting so they know that when they send a patient referral their patient will not have to deal with a negative experience.
As a physician liaison your mind set should be customer service not sales.
If you prove your value to a referring practice by providing an invaluable service for their patient relationships, then you will always beat the competition.
Remember don’t waste a referring physicians time advertising your practice but identifying their needs and wants, then taking action.
A physician liaison marketing program allows you to connect with your local community and provide the amazing service to your referring physicians. Physicians are more likely to refer to a doctor or practice that they have a relationship with.
Remember competition is a good thing and can be a big driver to delivering excellent patient care.
by Kelley Knott
Kelley Knott is an expert Physician Liaison Trainer and consultant. Her passion is the help liaisons and practices maximize their effectiveness to improve patient care and revenue new revenue streams for their practice or hospital system. She is one of the first people in the US to develop online courses specifically geared toward physician liaison marketing. She is a published author, entrepreneur, and speaker.