What is a Physician Liaison?

Aug 20, 2022 | Physician Liaison Marketing

What is a Physician Liaison?

A physician’s priority is patient care, which means they don’t always (or rarely) have the time to meet outside the clinic with referring physicians.

This limited time means they need a professional physician liaison to help them connect with their local physician network and commit the time to meet with referring physicians.

A physician liaison serves as a representative for a doctor, medical practice, or hospital. As a representative, they bridge the gap of communication between referring doctors and specialty physicians.

Doctor referrals are the lifeline to medical practice, and a physician liaison’s key role is to grow physician referrals and connect the medical practice with their local healthcare community.

While doctors focus on delivering high-quality patient care and treatments the liaison will visit with referring physicians on behalf of the referred doctor.

During these provider liaison visits, they meet with referring doctors to discuss patient care, referrals, new treatments, and thank them for existing referrals. They speak with the referring medical practice and doctor.

The role of a physician liaison is to lead physician outreach for the specialists and healthcare organizations they represent.

A Look at the Role of a Physician Liaison

Physicians understand the importance of connecting and building relationships with local providers, but with their primary focus on delivering the highest quality of care to their patients, this may fall by the wayside. A physician liaison plays an important role in this process.

A physician’s #1 priority is patient care, and when they need an individual to dedicate the time and has the necessary skill set, they decide to implement a physician liaison marketing program.

Understanding the physician liaison job description

A physician liaison is the designated ambassador for the specialists and physicians they represent. A physician liaison is trained and tasked to cultivate local physician referral relationships that result in a growth inpatient referrals and revenue.

Well, that’s the brief description of ‘what does a physician liaison do’???…

But, the truth is physician liaisons may wear many hats and can manage multiple responsibilities for their physicians all towards a goal of practice and patient growth.

What is a good physician liaison job description?

  • Increase patient referrals from referring doctors
  • Increase high revenue procedures & surgeries
  • Expands local physician network
  • Manage physician outreach program
  • Introduce provider to local referring physicians
  • Meets with local practices, hospital administrators, physicians, and clinical directors
  • Provides business cards and other patient referral collateral to referring physicians, hospitals, and practices
  • Helps organize and schedule necessary physician meetings
  • Customer service representative for medical practices
  • Director of Marketing
  • Increases overall practice revenue

Insightful Physician Liaison Interview Questions

Take some of the stress out of hiring a physician liaison by know what to ask during the interview process! Vetting the proper candidates is essential. If you are even lost on what characteristics make up a great prospect check out the 20 traits of a successful physician relations manager post for great insights!

Intro Questions

  1. Tell me what makes a good physician liaison, or why do you think you would be a good PL?
  2. Why do you want to work at this practice?
  3. What are you looking to achieve in this position?
  4. What are you looking to achieve in this role?

Experience Questions

  1. Tell me about your experience working with physicians or in the healthcare industry?
  2. How has your education & experience on your resume helped you gain the necessary skills to be a good physician liaison
  3. What was the most rewarding part of your last job?

Skillset Questions

  1. What traits do you feel are most important in a physician liaison?
  2. What do you think is most important to a referring physician when deciding what specialist to refer a patient?
  3. What do you think is the most overlooked skill that makes a physician liaison successful?

“What If” Questions

  1. How would you feel if a practice staff member was rude or mean to you during a visit?
  2. What if a doctor missed or is late to the scheduled meeting time what would you do?
  3. What if a Front desk staff member tells you the doctor is in clinic & cannot see you right now, what would you say?
  4. How would you handle the situation if a doctor or staff member complains or gives you negative feedback?

What They Need Questions

  1. What are the top factors that would influence you into staying in the job long term?
  2. What about this job appeals to you most and will help grow your career?

Happy Physician Liaison Talking to Doctor -What Is a Physician Liaison?Physician Liaison Strategies

Physician liaisons help bridge the gap of communication between referring physicians and the specialists they represent.

Implementing physician liaison strategies, physician liaisons engage and target referring physicians and practices to build lasting and robust patient referral relationships. These patient referral relationships help not only improve patient care but allow the physicians to grow and scale their practice.

As a physician ambassador, the physician liaison must be professionally trained to serve as a representative for their physicians successfully.

The role of a physician liaison is “customer service” for referring physicians and medical practices.

A role of a physician liaison is to meet the needs and wants of their referring practices.

If a referring physician or practice staff member has a request or provides feedback, it is the role of the physician liaison to meet those needs and take action.

A role of a physician liaison can include social media marketing.

Not all physician liaisons have the responsibility of social media marketing, but many do.

The reason a physician liaison might be charged with the management of social media is because of their familiarity with social media marketing and the in-depth knowledge of the patient experience and medical practice.

A physician liaison has hands-on experience and training for both patients and information on what referring practices are looking for. This knowledge helps them create original content to attract new patients.

A role of a physician liaison is to serve as marketing director.

A physician liaison may be charged to lead all marketing initiatives for their medical practice and physicians. Hospital physician liaisons (for the most part) do not have this responsibility, but private practice physician liaisons often do.

A physician liaison may serve as marketing director because of their time, knowledge, and experience with the clinic and its physicians. As marketing director, physician liaisons may oversee all marketing initiatives this may include:

Physician outreach
Social media marketing
Event planning
Media advertising

Communicating with the healthcare marketing firm in charge of digital marketing responsibilities for the practice

A role of a physician liaison is an event coordinator.

Sometimes physician liaisons are tasked with the responsibility to get creative about connecting with their healthcare network, community, patients, and physicians.

Physician liaisons can help organize, plan, and host healthcare events for their organization and practices.

This can mean that physician liaisons can host open houses, create and order marketing materials, attend charity events representing their medical practice, and much more.

A role of a physician liaison is that of a leader.

Physician liaisons lead outbound and often inbound marketing efforts. Physician liaisons balance many responsibilities and have multiple daily interactions with physicians, staff, and referring practices.

Physician liaisons are the leaders of marketing and patient growth for their physicians, always taking the initiative and directing marketing efforts. Physician liaisons lead the way to developing lasting physician referrals, developing strategic marketing plans, organizing marketing materials, working internally with staff, and much more.

As the physician liaison, they are the “ front lines”  for their physicians and work the majority in the field. This non-traditional work environment in the field away from the staff and physicians means everything on the “homefront” must be running smoothly.

The role of a physician liaison as a leader means they create checks and balances. Physician liaisons improve internal and external communication, collect and organize data, develop strategic marketing plans, and are always in sync with their physicians.

Perhaps the most rewarding role of a physician liaison is that of leadership.

With all the many roles and responsibilities of being a physician liaison, it is crucial to establish balance in your workweek to avoid burnout or referral leakage.

Here Are 7 Tips To Help Avoid Physician Liaison Burnout Or Referral Leakage:

1. Implement a system to streamline your physician liaison in-field reporting and to track to avoid late-night hours and data entry.

2. Develop a strict schedule that blocks your time out in the field (this should be a minimum of 85% of your time) and block the designated time for office work. A schedule will help avoid overlap or added responsibility that may sidetrack physician liaison marketing.

3. Communicate with your physicians, staff, and team regularly. It’s essential to make sure your communication is regular and reliable so there aren’t questions or things getting lost in the shuffle.

4. Delegate, as a physician liaison, you are a leader. It’s okay to create systems and delegate tasks to the individual that may be more qualified or suited for the assignment.

5. Commit to a physician liaison continuing education. Even the most seasoned physician liaisons should always be thirsty for learning new physician liaison strategies. A Physician liaison training course will keep you an expert and confident with ever-changing physician liaison marketing strategies.

6. Join a support group, like Physician Liaison University. A physician liaison support group can be of tremendous value to help gain support, share insight, get advice, discuss challenges, and celebrate wins. For more information on joining a physician liaison support group of like-minded liaisons, check out Physician Liaison University™.

7. Celebrate your wins. It’s okay to evaluate your progress and track your growth and of course, reward yourself. Celebrate your wins and don’t be shy about letting the team know!

The natural physician liaison job description is that of many moving parts but always a leader.

A physician liaison will face challenges, experience successes, and will continuously expand their knowledge to help their physicians and medical practice get BIG results.

Even though physician liaisons may wear many hats and balance multiple responsibilities, it’s always important to adjust and make time not only for work but for themselves.

Growing a Physician Relations Manager Program

Healthcare marketing is always evolving, but one consistent marketing statistic is the power of local doctor referrals for a specialty physician and medical practice. A recent physician referral survey reported that 54% percent of the patient base for specialty physicians are from other referring doctors.

what is physician liaison job descriptionThis means that over half of the patients for a specialty medical practice are from referring physicians. A physician liaison’s primary objective is to develop the physician outreach marketing program or physician relations marketing program for the specialty physician.

A physicians relations marketing program will increase practice revenue and patient growth.

With referring doctors contributing in no small portion of your patient base, they are the most critical business relationship to the specialty medical practice.

To successfully grow doctor referrals for a specialty physician you must have a specific approach to the marketing, and that is appointing a physician liaison. A physician liaison works with referring doctors, medical practice staff, and hospitals to develop a strategic referral relationship.

Physician liaisons are trained to have a vast knowledge of the practice and services including the more profitable services. The physician liaison training process ensures that your physician liaison is fully educated on how to effectively communicate with referring physicians to convert patient referrals and increase high revenue procedures.

In order to have a successful and professional physician liaison marketing program, physician liaison training is a must.

They ensure that all medical referring sources have the information they need to expedite patient referrals and that the specialty physician is represented as the highest quality professional for the patient. An efficient physician liaison will provide considerable value to the practice by accumulating new doctor referrals and substantially increasing the medical practice revenue.

Physician Liason Strategies to Connect With the Local Community

It is essential for any doctor to stay associated with their local healthcare community. A physician liaison will be in charge of communicating with hospital professionals and local medical practices.

Staying involved in upcoming healthcare events and attending physician events is a great way to connect and obtain quality time with referring doctors. A physician liaison will build their healthcare network by connecting with other medical professionals including hospital liaisons and directors.

A vast healthcare network will help support the physician liaison as they market to new medical practices and connect with hospital professionals. Local hospitals are the hub of the neighborhood healthcare and center for most local medical professionals.

A physician liaison will expand the reach of the practice and help introduce the practice physicians to the fellow community effectively. Part of a Physician liaison strategy is how to get the best use of the physician’s time actively marketing to local doctors to produce results.

Having a physician liaison manage the introductions and allow time for a provider to meet with local physicians helps boost the patient referrals significantly.

Working with local hospitals will help the specialty physicians become recognized in the community for their excellence in high-quality patient care and treatments.

Physician Liaison Requirements & Responsibilities

Physician liaison is the manager of physician relations they will coordinate the schedules of referring doctors to specialty physicians.

A physician liaison requirement is to actively seek new relationships and strengthen existing physician referral relationships. This may involve appointment and meeting scheduling between providers.

Physicians are committed to serving their patients with the best medical care helping treat illness and improving quality of life, this means their primary objective when referring a patient is to find the greatest physician to provide superior medical care.

A physician liaison will help deliver this message to local referring physicians by arranging a time for them to meet with the specialty doctor to discuss their approach to medicine and patient care.

Arranging a meeting for doctors to meet to talk about certain medical cases and patients will help them build a stronger referral relationship. In these meetings between referring doctors and specialty physicians, they speak in depth about the best medical approach.

Nurturing face-to-face meetings with local referring physicians allows the specialty doctor to better communicate and relate to their healthcare network.

Physician Outreach Representative for Medical Practices

A physician liaison will also serve as “customer service” for referring physicians. During routine referral marketing visits, the physician liaison will meet not only with doctors but other staff members in the medical practice. Physician liaisons are not just there to discuss the treatments and services of the specialty physician but get feedback from referring medical practices.

This feedback is crucial to the performance of the program both for improving physician referral relationships and improving the patient care experience.

Relaying the feedback from referring doctors and clinicians is vital to a successful physician liaison’s position. Addressing the feedback quickly and efficiently will provide considerable value to the referring medical practice to ensure their needs get met and they are happy with the services the medical practice provided them.

Sometimes patient referrals are dropped or slowed down due to simple mistakes like a wrong fax number or referral pads. The physician liaison will not only address these small concerns of the referring doctors but also supply them with materials they need to refer to the specialty physician.

The Idea is to provide a professional and exceptional service of quality of care but also streamline the communication and referral process between physicians. This “service” of physician liaison marketing is the competitive edge needed to drive better patient referrals.

Physician Liaison Marketing Plan

Considering doctor referrals compose over half the patient base of a specialty physician’s practice the primary marketing focus will be referral marketing. As physician liaison, they will have the marketing analytics and insight for the medical practice as well as some field knowledge.

This knowledge will help doctors see ways to improve or specific high revenue procedures that have room for growth. Part of the physician liaison strategy is to have reporting, and extensive knowledge of the practice will benefit the specialty physician.

A physician liaison marketing evaluation gives the doctor a breakdown of the practice profits, loss, and what needs to be done. Physician liaisons can help physicians target the strong and weak points of the marketing and provide valuable insight to help with ROI.

The physician liaison can help identify if an outside healthcare marketing professional is needed to assist with onboarding big marketing projects and which marketing specialist is best.

A physician liaison is a highly trained representative of a physician’s practice responsible for growing local doctor referrals and physician relations. Physician liaisons help private practice physicians connect with referring doctors and expand their local healthcare network. In developing local healthcare connections, physician liaisons provide direct communication and make beneficial introductions for the doctors.

A physician liaison adds excellent value to the medical practice and the healthcare marketing program. A physician liaison’s sole dedication is helping expand the specialty physician’s healthcare network, increase patient referrals, and improve the overall revenue of the practice.

Physician Liaison Training Program

With the entire physician liaison requirements mentioned above, it’s essential that your medical practice or hospital system employs the ideal individual to ensure the success of the physician liaison marketing.

A physician liaison training program is essential to the performance of the physician liaison marketing.

Physician Liaison Training Program

Learn more about Physician Liaison University™

A fully trained physician liaison has completed the necessary steps, knows how to market to physicians to convert patients confidently, and is qualified to implement and execute the physician liaison marketing.

Physician liaison training is the critical factor to successful physician liaison marketing.

Physician liaison training will guarantee you have a professional physician relations liaison and affects the performance of the marketing program.

Could You Benefit From Physician Liaison Marketing?

If you are a hospital, medical practice, or a physician looking to expand your healthcare network, increase physician referrals, increase high revenue procedures, and grow practice revenue then a physician liaison program is a good fit for you!

Tips That Physician Relations Marketing is Right For You:
  • Looking to introduce a new or existing physician to the local physician community
  • You want to increase high revenue services or surgeries
  • Looking to drive patient referrals
  • Wanting to expand your physician referral network
  • Need an individual to provide practice and physician information to local referring doctors
  • Have multiple practice locations
  • Ready to Increase practice revenue

Conclusion

If you are looking to revamp or launch your own physician liaison referral marketing program or become a physician liaison, contact us!

KELLEY KNOTT

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.

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