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 to the wayside.
Physicians #1 priority is patient care, and when they need an individual to dedicate the time and has the necessary skillset, they decide to implement a physician liaison marketing program.
What is a physician liaison?
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 in patient referrals and revenue.
Well, that’s the brief description of what a physician liaison is…
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.
So, the question is, what is the role of a physician liaison?
In this blog, I will break down some of the many possible roles physician liaisons have and tips to manage your time and balance your workweek.
Physicians 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.
The role of a physician liaison is to lead physician outreach for the specialists and healthcare organization they represent.
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 this 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 what both patients and the 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:
Social media marketing
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 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 check 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 responsibility of being a physician liaison it is crucial to establish balance in your work week 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 of 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 confidence with ever-changing physician liaison marketing strategies.
6. Join a support group, like Physician Liaison University. A physician liaison support group can be a 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 role of a physician liaison 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 themselves.
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.