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Physician Liaison Programs – Get Back to Basics and Get Great Results

The basic function of a physician liaison is to build relationships. Your goal is not to make a sale; but to establish, grow and maintain a rapport with physicians. Your job is to represent the organization to the referring provider, and also represent the provider to the organization.

Much like personal relationships, there has to be mutual trust, investment, value, consistency and dependability for referral relationships to succeed. Liaisons need basic but important skills; such as listening and demonstrating strong attention to detail. You need to be solve problems and facilitate solutions. Ideally you possess “conceptual” selling skills so you can be the eyes and ears of your organization.

Physicians still refer based on relationships, so focus on collaborating and communicating with physicians to achieve maximum growth and loyalty. Don’t take for granted the loyalty of even employed physicians. Detecting and preventing referral outmigration from your employed physician group is an invaluable investment. The cost of attracting new referrals is significantly more than that of maintaining relationships with existing ones.

When implementing a physician liaison program, get strategic about program evaluation up front. Regardless of how close you are to implementation, it’s essential to identify and document the program outcomes, activities, and indicators to later evaluate. Think of the desired outcomes as: what you want the program to accomplish, the activities as: what you’ll do to get there, and the indicators as: the gauge of whether, and to what degree, you’re making progress. 

Your outcomes provide a foundation for future program implementation and evaluation activities, and each of the outcomes needs to be evaluated. Focus your outcomes based on what can realistically be accomplished within the time period and/or budget.

Lastly, keep in mind that physician liaisons and marketers can always work together on campaigns. A few examples of where they could – and should – intersect: cross promotion of new services to doctors and consumers, introducing/rolling out specialty procedures that are new to the market, or when new providers join practices. Outreach efforts should all go hand in hand and there should be plenty of crossover within departments.

Physician referral management (PRM) software can help you reach your goals and keep your physician liaison team moving forward. Below are a few examples of what can be accomplished with PRM:

  1. Improve care delivery and increase provider satisfaction internally – as well as externally.
  2. Verify you’re reaching your goals.
  3. Produce results that can be used for promoting services and public relations within the community.
  4. Produce valid comparisons between programs to decide which should be retained in the face of pending budget cuts.
  5. Fully examine and describe effective programs for duplication elsewhere.

To learn more about using Physicianology™ to go beyond the basics with your physician liaison program, attend our upcoming webinar, “Get Back to Basics and Get Great Results”. Hosted by Christine Sasser-Perry, the session takes place on Tuesday, June 13 at Noon CST. Register here.

click here to register


Touch Point Reporting from Start to Finish

Are you utilizing your data to its full potential? If you’re hosting events and seminars, running cooking classes or have web forms on your website, are you capturing contact and demographic information on the people who attend or engage with you online? If not, a huge opportunity awaits you. If you are collecting that information, Tea Leaves Health can track downstream revenue generated by activities other than marketing campaigns via Touch Point Reporting.

Touch Point Reporting, within our Patientology™ application, allows clients to track what they want to track and run reports on the results that are the most important to them. Often, healthcare systems like to see how many Bariatric seminar attendees translated into LAP-BAND placements, how many Fitness Center members got connected with a PCP, what health risks employees are most at-risk for, how many web form registrants requested a free gift but never sought care, or how many service referral calls to the call center became patients.

This can be done by simply sending updated call center lists, web form lists, lists of email addresses, foundation contacts, volunteers, fitness center & med spa members and any other marketing lists to Tea Leaves. We can tie these individuals back to encounters. In order for a Touch Point to get “credit” for an encounter, the encounter must occur after the activity date, and not take place more than two years after the activity date. Once we’ve received the lists, we do the work on the back end and results are available within the reports to be analyzed as needed after the next data update.

If you’re a current Tea Leaves client, you may find it valuable to attend our upcoming Educational Sessions: Touch Point Reporting from Start to Finish – whether you’re using this benefit regularly or have never submitted a Touch Point file. We’ll cover why Touch Point Reporting is important, what it really tells you, and how to run and read a report.

Hosted by: Jennifer Ellestad, Senior Lead Client Strategist, Patientology

Choose from two session dates, available exclusively for clients:

  • Thursday, May 18 at Noon CST
  • Wednesday, May 24 at 2:00 p.m. CST

To attend, email marketing@tealeaveshealth.com.


Top 5 Patientology Use Cases

The Patientology™ customer relationship management (CRM) solution developed by Tea Leaves Health was designed with healthcare professionals in mind. It combines internal and external information for analysis, outreach, engagement and measurement all within one interface.

Below are several common scenarios where Patientology is used to increase strategic growth for organizations.


The Top 5 Patientology Use Cases:


Use the research query and GIS map to build a data-driven strategic plan

Your organization has identified the need for a new primary care clinic location. Leadership is asking you where to place the new clinic. Before you can answer that, you need to understand more about the population that resides in your market. Go into the Patientology application, select New Query > Research > Geography > Primary Service Area.


 Use the Understand Tab to get a more detailed portrait of your audience

A new Orthopedic surgeon has joined your practice and you need to grow his patient volume. You need to know not only how many patients, friends and family and prospects surround the practice, but who out of those are most at risk to need Orthopedic surgery.

You’ve decided to target everyone within a five-mile radius of the practice. By going into New Query > Research > Geography > Latitude/Longitude + Radius and using the orange icon next to the latitude/longitude box, you can select your exact practice location from the map and place a five-mile radius around that. Clicking Update will show you a visual representation of who resides where in relation to your practice.

By then clicking on the Understand Tab, you can get an even clearer picture of your population by viewing the ethnicity, age/gender and person type breakdowns. Most importantly, you can see the Top Risk Factors of that population.


Market to the most qualified audience

It’s Heart Month and you need to run a Cardiology campaign. It’s imperative you reach individuals with Hypertension, so you can promote blood pressure screenings at your facility.

To get the most qualified recipients for this campaign, you’ll want to use the Cardiology – Hypertension Tea Select in the Patientology application. Tea Selects are pre-built queries that let you easily target the best audience with the click of a button. They are the easiest way to reach the right recipients, and already include criteria like age, gender, predictive models and self-reported conditions.


Keep audiences engaged through marketing automation

It typically takes multiple touch points over several different mediums to move an audience to act. Imagine your organization has decided to try and acquire new patients through a New Mover campaign. You want to reach individuals who have moved into your service area within the past 60 days and are in need of new care institutions. You want to reach those recipients at least three times, but you don’t want to manually execute the campaign on three separate occasions.

Patientology allows you to create a campaign that’s triggered to drop automatically so you can “set it and forget it”. This is done in the application through a Tea Flow, our multi-step marketing automation platform. This approach allows for flexibility in how you communicate, so your message is tailored to the recipient based on their actions (or inactions). For example, you can set your Tea Flow up so the second and/or third touch points only reach the recipients if they have not responded to your initial message(s).


Measure the impact of your efforts

Stakeholders are knocking down your door, demanding tangible results that prove your work is making a difference on the bottom line. You need to bring those results to a planning meeting, as you’re requesting an increase in your budget for the following year.

Lucky for you, Patientology allows you to measure your success at a much more granular level through Success Criteria. Success Criteria greatly extend the power and flexibility of service line matching. Where service line matching was based on a relatively broad set of underlying clinical codes, Success Criteria are defined at a much more granular level. Success Criteria can be defined including any combination of service lines, clinical codes (ICD-9 & ICD-10, CPT, DRG), facilities, patient types (Inpatient, Outpatient, ED, Clinic) and physicians/providers.

When your campaign results include Success Criteria, you can walk into the meeting with confidence, knowing your request for more funding is backed by hard data that can tell your story, prove your worth and secure those dollars.

These are just a few examples of how you can use Patientology to develop effective consumer engagement strategies. Contact us to learn more, and download the full Top 5 Patientology Use Cases document here.


When CRM and PRM Join Forces

Like many of our counterparts in the healthcare industry, we’re preparing to attend next week’s Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit in Austin, TX. Aside from looking forward to the great weather, food, networking and exciting events that will all be part of HMPS, most of all we’re looking forward to the educational sessions. In particular, we can’t wait for our own Lori Brenner to discuss When CRM and PRM Join Forces with Tricia Anderson from Texas Health Resources and Marisa Lavine from Adventist HealthCare on Tuesday, May 9th at 10:00 a.m.

If we’re being honest, we all need the power of a more holistic view into our healthcare markets. Only by combining CRM and PRM, can you truly attain total information awareness. Powerful results can be achieved when consumer data from a CRM and physician data from a PRM are combined. If you’ll be attending HMPS, then be sure to add this session to your itinerary. Attend to learn how to identify high-risk patients and connect them with the right specialists and primary care providers. Hear how to use data to create action plans, strengthen referral relationships and design effective communications.

In addition, we’ll uncover how one organization was able to first identify all of their prospects and patients at the highest risk to develop a certain condition, and then find the specialists in the market where those patients resided. With the combination of both their consumers’ and physicians’ information at their fingertips, they were able to communicate with those consumers and physicians, discover where the PCPs were referring, identify leakage and create an action plan to build loyalty and retain volume within the organization.

If you’re unable to attend HMPS next week and hear the presentation in person, then be sure to attend our free webinar on Tuesday, May 23 at Noon CST to learn how to use a combination of both CRM and PRM to positively affect your bottom line. The webinar will be hosted by Sachin Agrawal, Chief Commercial Officer for Tea Leaves Health and Lori Brenner, VP of Physicianology™.

Click here to register for the webinar, download our article here to get a sneak peek of the session, or if you’re attending HMPS, stop by booth 55 to chat with Lori and pick up a hard copy. We hope to see you there!



Summer Skin Campaign Ideas

The sun is getting stronger and the shorts are coming out, but is your patients’ skin ready for the elements?

Sun bathingTwo timely campaigns for the impending summer months include Skin Cancer Awareness and Varicose Vein campaigns.

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to reach out to patients and prospects in your service area to ensure they protect themselves and get their skin checked by a primary care physician (PCP), which can be a great entry point into your system.

Execute a campaign that communicates to recipients about the symptoms of skin cancer, the risk of the sun’s rays and how they can prevent Melanoma and other types of skin cancer through prevention. We can help you identify the best audience for this campaign. On your creative, we encourage you to use messaging that suggests recipients do the following to help prevent skin issues:

  • Find shade during midday hours.
  • Wear protective clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Wear a wide-brim hat to shade the face, head, ears and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
  • Avoid tanning indoors via tanning beds, booths or sun lamps.

Don’t forget to use a mix of tactics such as direct mail, email, social media and digital ads when executing this campaign!

Another unsightly result of sun exposure is varicose veins, which can appear or be made worse when the sun breaks down collagen under the skin. The sun isn’t the only cause of these – they can also be brought on by a genetic tendency toward weak vein valves, puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking different types of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and birth control pills can weaken vein valves and change leg circulation. Regardless of the cause, many individuals (particularly women) prefer to have these treated or removed prior to the busy summer months, so promoting your Vascular services now may be a strong acquisition strategy.

Tea Leaves Health can offer you the ability to connect with varicose vein sufferers who are likely to need treatment. When executing your campaign, ensure your call-to-action is easy to understand and even easier to follow. If the goal is to drive volume through appointment scheduling, include the phone number or website for your call center directly on the piece. Consider utilizing click-to-call numbers for email creative as well as your online appointment scheduler. Also be sure to capture demographic information via web forms, event attendance lists and class registration lists as ways to continue the conversation with patients and consumers in your service area beyond these campaigns.

Encourage your audience to enjoy the impending summer months safely and comfortably. Ask us how to get these campaigns started today!


Sharing Electronic Contact Information

In this ultra media-saturated world, it’s no surprise some patients are keeping their personal contact information on lock down. People may be leery of sharing their electronic contact information for a variety of reasons: concern over identity theft, an effort to lessen the constant onslaught of messages, or simply not wanting or needing the services offered in those communications.

There are, however, many benefits to collecting and sharing this contact information for both patients and healthcare organizations. Here’s the download on why it’s important for hospitals and health systems to collect emails and phone numbers, and also why it’s important for patients to provide those details.


For healthcare organizations, collecting electronic contact information from the patient results in:

  • Stronger brand awareness

Today’s healthcare consumers are busy. And tech savvy. They’re checking email and text messages more than ever before. They do still receive mail at home, but in order to stay competitive and keep your services top-of-mind, you’ll want to make sure your messages are not just in their mailbox, but also their inbox.

  • More engaged patients, and higher conversion rates

Inciting action in consumers requires several touch points – across multiple mediums. You likely have your patients’ physical addresses, so you can reach them with direct mail. That’s a great initial touch point, but getting email addresses and phone numbers so you can reach your patients with emails and text messages as second and third touch points is crucial to converting new patients and keeping current ones engaged.

  • Better loyalty to your organization

Need to remind a patient about their upcoming appointment? Send out an IVR phone call or text. Want to follow up and thank them for attending that hip seminar? Send an email. Having email addresses and phone numbers for patients means being able to communicate with them more efficiently and easily. You can cost effectively provide them with patient education materials and follow up with them regarding conditions. You can provide them with information that is relevant to them in a timely manner, and show them you genuinely care about their well being – which will make them far more likely to engage with your organization in the future.

  • Lower marketing costs

Sending email and SMS messages costs significantly less than most traditional print tactics.


For patients, providing electronic contact information to the healthcare organization results in:

  • More convenience

Receive a text message reminding you about that upcoming appointment, instead of a phone call. Or get an email letting you know your test results are ready and waiting in your patient portal, so you don’t have to call the doctor back. Providing your email address or phone number to your healthcare organization will inevitably save you time and effort. 

  • Proactive health management

In the hustle and bustle of every day life, who has time to think about getting to the doctor? Engaging with your healthcare organization electronically allows them to keep you informed of events that may be of interest to you, and remind you of important health screenings and immunizations you may need. And since you’re likely checking your email and/or mobile device multiple times a day, wouldn’t it be ideal to receive those reminders via email or text so they don’t get lost in the junk mail pile?

  • Better care and outcomes

After an appointment, instead of walking out with a huge packet of paperwork, receive an email that includes patient education information on your condition, including treatments to help you manage your injury or illness at home.

For more information on reaching patients effectively:

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