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:
- Improve care delivery and increase provider satisfaction internally – as well as externally.
- Verify you’re reaching your goals.
- Produce results that can be used for promoting services and public relations within the community.
- Produce valid comparisons between programs to decide which should be retained in the face of pending budget cuts.
- 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