An Optometrist's Guide to Successful Medical Referrals

A reciprocal referral relationship not only deepens your level of patient care, but can bring a slew of new patients into your eyecare practice. If you've already built a healthy network of surgeons, ophthalmologists, and internists in your area, make sure you're keeping communication current with them. 

In the following blog we'll give you basic tips on broadening your base as well as effectively communicating patient referrals with hospitals and doctors.

Video: Dr. Castleberry shows his CCD process

Building a Referral Base

With the rise of telehealth and video chats, we encourage you to network through cold-emailing specialists outside of just your local area. These contacts can come in handy when your patients are traveling or if you're at a regional conference. Of course, you can drop by hospitals in your area, too. In those initial conversations, get to know the background of the different doctors as well as their career trajectory and skill development goals. Add them on LinkedIn and keep their CV on file, as well as the CV of any associates.

Keep in Touch

After you've started referring patients to doctors, make sure you're keeping up relationships on both ends. You'll want to check in with the doctors to make sure your patients are following through on referrals. The best way to ensure that you receive patient referrals in return is to provide the level of commitment you wish to be afforded.

Finally, be sure to delight your referral doctors or hospitals the same way you delight your patients. This involves sending seasonal gifts, appreciation letters, or practice-branded paraphernalia. 

Sending Referrals Seamlessly

As more practices are moving toward a medical model, the issue of referrals comes to the forefront of their minds. How can you make sure you're handing off patients to the correct doctors? Automate your letter and CCD communications with eFax. ODs love to use a referral system that is reliable, secure, and cloud-based. 


Learn more about the medical model in the following webinar:

Watch the Medical Model Webinar


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