Given all of the hard work and planning that you have invested in your practice’s physician liaison program (also know as a physician relations program), it may very well be experiencing success. This can be shown in the form of new patient referrals and enhanced relationships. The looming question remains: how do you really know if this program is truly reaching its full potential? The following are three factors that can be used to assess the performance of your program.
By taking a step back and reviewing the entire physician liaison program as an entity, you will be able to get a complete picture of the program. In order to make a full assessment, consider the following:
- Analyze your practice’s referrals for the last year on a month-to-month basis. Compare these numbers to the same timeframes for the previous year. Keep an eye out for data outliers, such as a significant decrease of patients sent from a particular city, specialty, or month.
- Review the benchmark goals for the program against the trending reports. Is the program reaching its intended mark?
- Examine tracking and reporting of the liaison’s weekly calls.
- Assess the liaison’s monthly call plan and the target practice/provider list in comparison to the referral data.
- Inspect the collaterals being utilized by the liaison and the messaging of the collaterals for updates.
Assessment of Liaison
After taking a close look at the overall program, turn your attention to the liaison to investigate if there is potential there for additional development of skills or a new focus on strategy.
- Gauge the quality of calls made. What is the frequency of interactions with physicians?
- Consider if the liaison is calling on the specific targeted practices with set consistency, such as once a month.
- Review physician liaison’s organizational and time management skills.
- Examine the physician liaison clinical knowledge of your practice and your medical specialty.
- Assess quality of interactions and communication skills while interacting with referring physicians and key decision makers. This can be achieved by riding with the liaison while calls are made.
- Review liaison’s goals against trending reports. Is the liaison reaching his/her goals?
Future Growth Potential
The final component of consideration involves the potential for future growth in the program. To determine the areas of improvement and growth, consider the following:
- Gauge physician’s reputation in the referring medical community.
- Evaluate how your practice compares to competition.
- Strategize on additional services or opportunities at referring practices.
- Determine current barriers to referrals in the community and within the practice.
- Analyze feedback from referring offices to determine strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities within the physician liaison program and the liaison.
After considering how your practice performs in these three areas, you will be able to identify new strategies for further growth of your physician liaison program: from obtaining additional training for your liaison, to updating the program goals, and/or promoting new services.
If the idea of evaluating your physician relations program is overwhelming, WhiteCoat is here to help. We offer a highly skilled team of physician liaison professionals with over 10 years of expertise in a multitude of medical specialties and hospital relations. We can evaluate your program to help it reach its full potential. Please contact us to learn more.