Many of us in private practice receive referrals from the medical community. Some of us don’t, but sure wish we did. When we do receive a direct referral, we all know that professional protocol dictates that we refer the patient back with a full report of our findings and recommendations or, at the very least, provide that report in a timely manner. If your practice receives lots of referrals, those reports can keep you in your office well into the evening.
I was delighted when I discovered that an industry specific report-writing tool was created to let me get home sooner. This tool results in a consistent, comprehensive, traditional and beautiful report that can be printed in the office as well as emailed or faxed from the Internet. This web based software product is also integrated with many of the hearing care practice management systems available.
Using either the pre-loaded templates or after creating your own, a report can be generated and delivered in a matter of minutes. Since report writing becomes so quick and easy, we have also begun using it as a part of our professional referral generation and nurturing program. Every patient is asked to provide the name of their primary care physician and is then asked whether we have permission to send a report of our visit; even if they were not directly referred by that physician. Again, due to the efficiency of the report writing software, all of our providers send reports to “non referring” physicians every time there is an evaluation or a new hearing aid fitting.
We have found that adding a professional report to each visit that includes an evaluation or initiation of a trial period is a win/win/win.
- The patient’s primary care physician is kept informed about their patient’s hearing health – good for the patient.
- The patient’s primary care physician is educated regarding hearing evaluations, rehabilitative efforts and new developments in hearing care – good for the profession.
- The patient’s primary care physician is exposed to our practice on a continual and recognizable basis – good for the practice.
If your practice wants to increase the number of referrals you are receiving, sending professional reports is a powerful way to get your practice name in front of a very important source of patients. And, if you are already fortunately enough to have a strong referral base, you’ll get home at a decent hour!