All physicians build their practices on referrals, whether it is word of mouth from patients or from the medical community. It is nice to consider these sources to thank throughout the year for all their referrals and helping to keep their practice afloat. But the consideration you show with an appropriate gift can distinguish you from all the other physicians.
Once or twice throughout the year, it would be nice to send all your referral doctors or sources a nice gift to show how much you value them and their help. Some physicians will send flowers, a card, wine or food. Some have sent a nice a gift basket with wine and cheese, some have sent gourmet chocolates. These are all nice and the staff really enjoy them as well. But they’ve become so ordinary. How about sending them something that could be useful in their offices. One physician sent out books or articles that could be helpful. Some physicians swear by certain books that are related to their specialty, or a gift subscription to a practice management newsletter, maybe send one to a colleague as a thank you gift.
Possibly a coffee table book that could be placed in the waiting room. Topics such as art, architecture, travel, aviation or nature. You could even get the book engraved with his or her name on the front and sign in the inside with a nice inscription thanking them for helping keeping patients healthy.
Have your office staff compile a list of referral sources and set-up a database so that you can update and keep it to stay in touch throughout the year. Also don’t forget about the patients that have referred patients. Usually this is indicated on the patient registration form that is filled out at the time of the patient’s appointment. A simple card would suffice or even a phone call. This can be an advantage in the fact that they may have only come in once or twice and it helps to remind them about your practice and services.
Sending a letter or card to physicians for whatever reason have not referred to you lately is a good way to thank them and also possibly start up a new relationship for future referrals. If a new physician has joined a group or has opened up a new practice, it would be good to call and introduce yourself or send a card welcoming them to the medical community along with your business cards and ask for his or her cards in return.
Yes this does take a little time and a small cost, but in the end it is worth showing other people that you appreciate all they have done to make your practice a success.