Want More Patients? Feed Your Patient Pipeline with External Referral Sources Whether you are sponsoring a local marathon, crafting a vast network of referring primary care physicians or teaming up with a local business, there are simple things your practice can do to make a significant and self-sustaining contribution to your patient database. You can even use your happy patients and the Internet to subtly drive more patient referrals. All at little or no cost. We want you to learn the proven strategies that will help your practice succeed in external referral marketing. Strategies like patient follow-up, interactive promotions, patient updates and patient surveys are simple to implement and can maximize your investment. Build OD/MD/Primary Care Provider Referral Sources Patients put a lot of trust into their regular eye doctors. When more serious eye conditions arise, they rely on their optometrists to refer them to the right specialist for advanced treatment. As an ophthalmology practice, you should strive to be the “go to” practice for these referrals. In fact, physician referrals should be the “bread and butter” of your practice. Of course, you must have the right experience, training and patient success rates to be in the game. However, in today’s fast-paced medical arena, you also need to make the medical referral process as streamlined as possible and keep the lines of communication open between your office and the referring doctors’ offices. Read our blog from last month to learn how naming an internal champion can help you succeed with the referring doctors. Build Corporate Accounts Whether it be a large corporation or a small ‘mom & pop’ shop, you should be aiming to educate them on your services so they, or their employees, will come to you when the time is right. You can do this through Lunch and Learns or Healthfairs. Or, you may just place information in their employee break room. Every individual you talk to about your services is a potential patient or a referral. Run Successful External Events Healthfairs, Races, Expos. These are all types of events that you should be exploring and deciding on whether to be a part of. You can create a great deal of leads in a short amount of time. But, in order to pull off events successfully, you need to have more than just a presence at the event. You have to think through everything from what the call to action is, what your educational material will be and who will follow up. Read more on events and other grassroots marketing in a previous blog. Use Your Patients and the Internet Back in the ‘90s, country music artist Bonnie Raitt didn’t know how right she was when she sang: “People are talkin’, talkin’ ’bout people… I hear them whisper, you won’t believe it…” Of course, she was talkin’ ‘bout love in her song, but believe us when we say that people are talkin’ ‘bout more than just love on the internet today. They’re talkin’ ‘bout you and your practice. And they’re not whispering…especially if your practice isn’t quite living up to their expectations. They’re sharing their feelings about your practice with anyone who will “listen” on social media pages, review sites and blogs. Here’s the thing: You actually want – and need – people to sing your praises online. This activity will actually help grow your business. You’ve got to know what people are sayin’ ‘bout you online. Not sure where to start? Brandi Musgrave is a marketing specialist with 17 years of experience in consulting and marketing for elective surgery. She will put together a strategic plan based on your needs and budget. 303-731-2634 or email her at email@example.com.