The concept of the ‘Referral Rebounder Pathway’ can completely change your practice. This includes:
The 7 touch point technique
Value in advance
Winning through repetition
The 7 Touch Point Technique
Sometimes, the things that make the biggest impact to your practice are right in front of you.
For example, staying in touch with your patients and referral sources on an ongoing basis (even if they don’t respond to you immediately) is a simple way to get ongoing referrals.
In fact, it takes several ‘touches’ to get the desired response. Let’s say you are reaching out to a discharged patient and your ‘desired response’ is ‘refer me to a friend or family member’. You can use different media (I call it ‘touch points’) to communicate and ‘touch’ the patient’s life. Here’s an example.
Touch point 1 – SMS – “Hope you are well. Just checking in.”
Touch point 2 – Phone call – “Following up on my SMS from yesterday. What can we do to serve you or your family members? We have a range of wellness services available to help you improve your quality of life”
and so on.
Why the Need for Several Touch Points?
The answer – everyone’s busy. The therapy and the service you offer are not at the top of their mind. In fact, they are likely to put it off until its absolutely necessary. You know how it is – you wish the patient had come to you sooner so you could have gotten them better faster. Now, let’s establish that I am not talking about patient education. I am talking about ‘proactive patient communication’ using repetition. This is an ongoing process that needs to be done CONSTANTLY by your practice. Patient education is a vague concept that means different things to different people.
I’m talking about CONSTANT communication with patients to the point that most patients end up referring. In fact, the likely outcome is as follows:
Touch 1 – Ignore
Touch 2 – Ignore
Touch 3 – What were you saying again and who are you?
Touch 4 – Oh, it’s you! Hey I remember you.
Touch 5 – You remembered me? That was thoughtful of you
Touch 6 – Come to think of it.. My brother hurt his shoulder last week.
Touch 7 – I just asked him to call you. Say, when can I come in – I need some help for xxxx.
A word of caution. Some patients will say “Don’t contact me again”.
That’s fine. Respect their wishes. Don’t.
Those patients were unlikely to refer to you anyway so you’ve done your duty by treating them and moving on. Allocate your resources (staff, time, technology) and use the referral rebounder pathway to OTHER patients that appreciate the communication, and know, like and trust you.
The effectiveness of the ‘7 touch point technique’ depends on what you are saying, the media you are using to say it and the needs of the patient. Patient segmentation and hyper-targeting of your patient list can make this technique even more effective. For example, you use different messaging and different touch points (media) for Group A consisting of senior Medicare patients versus Group B consisting of high school athletes looking for improvements in speed, strength and flexibility.
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Reverse engineering your ‘touches’ and ‘touch points’ based on ‘patient segmentation’ allows you to take the ‘referral rebounder’ principle to a new level in your physical therapy business.
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– Website integration to help you build your patient email list
– Downloadable patient books to encourage growth of your patient email list
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