The OMS Specialist’s Guide to Building Dental Referrals

Curious about how to optimize your referral process? You’ve come to the right place! Not only does it take a lot of hard work to build your referral network, but there are also a multitude of factors to consider.

In this blog, we will cover essential factors such as referral management software, successful referral relationships, reviews and testimonials, and the effects of a high level of service from your team! 

Referral Management Software: Does Your Practice Need It?

One of the most important components of creating a solid referral network is building trust and credibility with referring dental practices. An OMS practice equipped with the right referral management software can be the key to starting the growth of your referral network, as well as improving accuracy and productivity for both you and your patients. 

 

Here are some ways referral management can help your OMS practice:

Accuracy

Referring practices are more likely to refer patients to specialists that can provide excellent treatment outcomes. However, a survey shows that 68% of specialists have reported “receiving no information about the reason for referral from the sending practice”, and 38% noted that the “information would have been helpful”.

Alleviate the stress of analyzing the proper reason for referral by looking out for a function that can customize procedure and provider names. 

You may be wondering, how would these features benefit your practice? Well, customizable procedure names make it possible to properly address the exact reason for referral. Similarly, customizable provider names would make it easy for senders to refer a patient to a specific specialist. 

 

Tracking 

The key to providing a great patient experience is ensuring that your patients are taken care of in every step of the referral process. Real-time status updates can help by offering a window of visibility- ultimately building trust between the two practices

Still, most referring practices tend to get left in the dark about the status of their referred patients. It’s not that specialty practices don’t want to update them, but it can be time-consuming to send status reports for every single patient on their roster. 

At Intiveo, we believe that both referring and specialty practices should be able to track the patient’s referral journey from start to finish. Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to automate the process of tracking your patient’s progress in real-time, greatly improving the patient flow in your OMS practice. 

 

Reduce Communication Barriers

Pro tip: Take every new referral as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with both the referring practice and the patient. Believe it or not, referring dentists that send patients over to your OMS practice will be some of your best advocates. 

It is important to consider a referral management software that would allow you to track your best-referring practices. This information should equip you with the tools your practice needs to maintain strong referral relationships. 

Follow these tips to help foster strong referral relationships!

  • Respond promptly: If you want to grow your OMS practice, it’s important to keep your referring dentists happy by handling any questions or concerns that may arise at the highest priority. This can be accomplished by automating your communication process. 
  • Eliminate physical copies: Don’t expect your patients to bring a hard copy of their treatment information back to their referring dentist, as they will lose it. This can be frustrating for all parties and can lead to delays in patient care. A referral management software can help protect patient privacy by making it easy to transfer files electronically and securely. 
  • Express gratitude: The referring practice likely sent their patients over to you because they saw your practice as the most qualified to continue with their patient’s OMS journey. It only takes a few moments of your time to show appreciation for their trust and continued support by sending a handwritten thank-you note or sending a small token of appreciation.

 

Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews have become one of the most important influences on how we, as consumers, make decisions. From stores, to restaurants, or even dental specialists, reviews greatly impact our decision-making process. 

For an OMS practice that runs on a by-referral-only model, reviews and testimonials from referring practices and patients can determine the trustworthiness and credibility of your business. And while positive reviews are social proof of your practice, even just one negative review can dissuade a potential dentist from referring patients over. 

The best way to handle negative feedback and concerns is to respond promptly and offer a solution, if appropriate.  By looking at feedback as a learning opportunity, it can help you see things differently and improve the quality of your patient care. 

 

Let’s Talk About Streamlining Workflows 

According to a ReferralMD, vague job responsibilities, old software and equipment, and feeling overworked are among the top 7 main reasons why healthcare professionals are unhappy in the workplace. 

It is important to ensure that your team has access to the updated technology and equipment they need to perform their jobs effectively. Referral management software helps streamline your team’s workflow by automating one of the most time-consuming tasks in the dental office: referrals. 

Providing your employees with the proper tools and support they need for the job will lead to better patient outcomes. And when the goal is to build your dental referral network, excellent patient outcomes are proof of your practice’s validity. 

 

Say Goodbye To Lengthy Referral Processes! 

Patience is paramount when it comes to building your OMS practice’s referral network. However, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the right referral management system because it can certainly speed up and streamline the entire process. 

Though referral management software can add additional costs, the long-term benefits to your practice, your team, and your patients are well worth the up-front investment. Not only can it serve as an excellent tool to improve your practice’s referral network, but it will also bring several improvements to your practice operations and patient experience. 

Speaking of improvements, we have some exciting things brewing over at the Intiveo offices. Keep an eye out next week for a very special announcement.

But in the meantime, are you curious to see other ways Intiveo can help with streamlining your workflow? Book a meeting with us today

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