“People who are easy to work with will be called first. People who put up barriers will not be called at all”
Bob Hornecker MSW, CSW
Social Workers, Discharge Planners, and Hospitalists are the gatekeepers to referrals in our industry. In the past, they were the happy recipients of candy, cookies and “influential” marketing trinkets to help ‘sway’ them in the direction of our businesses. Although they can no longer receive gifts, the bottom line has not changed: It is still all about relationships. If you want gatekeepers to think of your business when they have a discharge, develop a relationship with them beyond brochures and marketing baubles. Here are 10 Tips To Help You Reach Medical Gatekeepers today.
1. Be ready 24/7, Holidays and Weekends.
2. Respond immediately to an inquiry. Even if you don’t have availability, it is important that you know who they can call for placement.
3. Schedule assessments quickly and at their convenience.
4. Be attentive to your own residents that are in the hospital. Visit them, talk with their doctors/nurses/social workers.
5.Be involved in all aspects of treatment and discharge along with their family. Utilize your visiting time to touch base with the social workers to see how you can best help. They will see how you treat their referrals by how you treat your own residents.
6. Be clear about the type and level of care you offer. Make sure your staff knows also.
7. Fax, email or call the social workers office weekly with availability.
8. Have an attitude of 100% customer service. We are here to serve them.
9. Go the extra mile at discharge. Especially when family is not involved…be there to coordinate the transfer successfully.
10. Make follow up a part of your marketing strategy. An email or card with an update on the patient’s progress makes you ‘memorable’. Social Workers are in this line of work because they are passionate about helping people. When you follow up, it brings meaning to your
Remember that they will not refer to you just because you dropped brochures off. Building a positive reputation for your services takes time, availability, and excellent follow up. Develop solid relationships with the medical gatekeepers in your area.
Bad customer service, bad connections, and bad follow up all result in NO REFERRALS….Medical gatekeepers will call whomever is willing to help, can respond quickly and has a great attitude. Be memorable, personable and give great care. You will never lack in referrals.
**Salt & Light Consulting helps businesses shed light, provide solutions and build success through Marketing, Sales, Social Media, and Creative coaching and services.