There are so many different processes, techniques, and skills that go into a functional dental practice that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Seemingly inconsequential things like referrals can get the better of us if we don’t have a solid system in place.
Patient Friendly Referrals
The best specialist referrals involve open communication and provide patients with a sense of care and consideration. Patients prefer to be given a tangible referral tool, such as the specialist’s brochure, along with your confident assertions of their quality. This gives them something solid to associate their trust with and provides further familiarity.
Validation of your referral comes in other ways as well. Patients will want you to provide the introductory information that you might assume the specialist will want. It’s important to remember that they won’t automatically feel comfortable putting their health in someone else’s hands.
You might consider asking the patient if they would like your office to call the specialist to establish the referral and set up their first appointment. This strengthens their sense that you are actively involved in the referral and have a strong relationship with the other office and team. It’s proof of your commitment to their health.
A big no-no is not discussing the patient’s condition with the specialist before their appointment. It will become very obvious to the patient if you haven’t done your due diligence in helping the specialist understand their needs. They will feel stranded and ignored, and often are uncertain that the specialist will communicate back with you after their visit.
Finally, make sure you have an arrangement with the specialist ahead of time that they will check in with you after the treatment. Then, once the patient returns to your practice, you can share with them all you learned from the specialist since they were there.
How do you ease patient concerns during the referral process? Leave a comment below!