For specialist practices, good referral management is critical in acquiring new patients. That’s why it is so important to make the referral process seamless. Whether it’s a provider or a patient as the point of contact in the referral, there are many steps to get to the point of scheduling an appointment. Studies show it can take up to eight weeks for a referral to be acknowledged and for an appointment to be scheduled.
For patients who may be suffering and need care, eight weeks is far too long. With the right referral management tools, we believe this time can be vastly reduced.
OhMD uses two-way texting as a means of communication between patient and provider. This makes incoming referrals simple as new patients can text in at any time rather than calling. Referring providers can also connect via colleague messaging avoiding the phone or fax all together. Here are some strategies to make referral management easier with OhMD.
Referrals with Autopilot
Without the need for phone prompts, OhMD Autopilot is a great tool to simplify the referral process. Autopilot makes your workflow more efficient by taking patients through automated prompts via text.
New patients may visit your website and see “Text us with the keyword ‘Referral’”. Or they may call in and hear an automated prompt asking them to text in “Referral”. However they reach you, a simple keyword-initiated automated SMS text flow can streamline the process greatly.
Autopilot will take them through prompts collecting necessary information like patient name, DOB, insurance information, and referring physician. It will take patient’s far less time than having to wait on the phone and will save your staff phone time as well.
After the Autopilot automated text exchange, healthcare staff can easily enter the conversation with the referred patients over text and answer questions, schedule an appointment, or engage with patients as needed to ensure the patient feels heard and taken care.
Patient Referrals with Forms
Historically, patients and providers have suffered under the traditional referral method of faxing forms and other information back and forth. With all of the communication channels at our fingertips today, the fax is just inefficient with too many opportunities for referral leakage.
Electronic forms through OhMD streamline referral management into a process that’s more convenient and efficient.
You’ll be able to send a HIPAA compliant intake form directly to a referred patient over text. They’ll tap the link to fill out the form on their mobile phone and it will automatically be submitted to your team helping to reduce the time before the referred patient can be seen.
Did a patient forget to put in their insurance information on a form? Don’t worry – Shoot them a text asking them to send a picture of their insurance cards through OhMD. The simplicity of the experience is something that patients love.
Provider Referrals with Forms
Referring providers also can use OhMD’s forms as a tool to pass patient information along easily and securely. OhMD leverages encrypted forms to ensure HIPAA compliance related to information shared between referring providers.
The referring provider can submit referrals through a form on your practice’s website. It can be completed and even signed on their phone or computer just as a patient would without having to fax any paper forms.
Leveraging Patient Tagging in Referrals
Do you have multiple providers that refer patients to you? It can be difficult to keep track of where all the referred patients come from. So how can you organize all your referrals effectively?
OhMD’s patient tagging tool allows you to tag patients for you to filter and organize. Let’s break it down.
Say a new patient texts in and they were referred to your practice by a Dr. Green. You can then tag that patient as “Dr. Green Referral”. You’ll be able to apply that tag to all patients referred by that doctor and then filter to view them all at once.
Colleague to Colleague Messaging
Until now, there hasn’t been a way to communicate with other providers when it comes to referrals that is easy, fast, and HIPAA-compliant.
Colleague to colleague messaging with a platform like OhMD makes referring patients and growing your referral network a breeze. With OhMD, it’s just as easy to message with colleagues as it is with patients. Create group chats within your practice, or reach out to other providers about referred patients.
You can even send out form links to each other through colleague messaging. Review mutual patients’ forms, and ask any follow-up questions with each other.
With improved communication you’ll be able to increase referral efficiency for both the patient and your referring providers. It’s also a way to ensure you close the referral loop. You’ll both be able to confirm the patient was cared for and seen, and can share any treatment plans. An efficient referral experience ensures repeat referrals and delighted patients and referring providers.
It can be difficult to get in touch with other referring providers. Emailing back and forth is tedious, and playing phone tag with other busy providers is not easy. On the flip side, messaging your referral network securely, in the OhMD platform, is incredibly easy.
Positive experiences keep current patients coming to your practice. Experiences that result in great reviews help you to acquire new patients. Patients researching you and see multiple five-star reviews are far more likely to choose you for care. An easy referral process for patients helps to ensure a positive experience.
Once referred patients have a positive experience, text those patients a review request after their appointment. Patients can even use Autopilot to go through an automated workflow that will lead them to your preferred review site. As your ratings go up, it will help you generate more referrals in the process. Better experience lead to better reviews which lead to more referrals!
With all the incoming patients a practice gets, we recognize how important it is to optimize referral management. New patients will be able to schedule an appointment in no time with online referral management like OhMD. We want to help you find the strategies that work for you when it comes to getting patients in and out the door.
Providing all these user-friendly channels for referred patients and providers positions you at the top of the referral network. You’ll be able to grow your network by being a reliable referral partner. OhMD gives you the tools you need to succeed.