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How to Build and Use Referral Networks

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Obtaining new client leads is the top benefit of extending your referral network. In a relationship with other providers, it is more likely that they will value your services and speak highly of you to others, and in return, help you establish a more steady flow of clients for your practice. Being referred a mutual contact is one of the best ways to obtain a client base. Chances are, a majority of your clients are referred to you by a mutual friend or acquaintance. 

By building a client referral network, you can connect with other wellness professionals, and start to receive a steady referral of clients. Even having as few as one or two wellness professionals referring clients to you on a regular basis contributes to keeping your client-load full. Spending the time to build, grow, and nurture your client referral network is well worth the payoff.

Some wellness professionals that generally serve as a great source of referrals for nutrition professionals:

  • Gastroenterologists
  • Endocrinologists
  • Psychologists + therapists (LCSW, LMFTs, CBT-therapists, etc)
  • Physical therapists
  • Eating disorder clinics or specialists
  • OBGYNs, doulas or other women’s health specialists

Additionally, working collaboratively with other providers offers clients an exceptional multi-disciplinary team consisting of healthcare professionals who have the knowledge, expertise, and all of the strengths such as dedication and a hard-working mentality necessary to work together effectively in making decisions for their clients. Patients and families feel more at ease with this multidisciplinary approach to healthcare due to the fact that there is more of a centralized and solid form of communication between one another, resulting in more satisfied clients who become likely to refer your services to their friends and families.

How to Nurture Your Health and Wellness Referral Network

1. Build a standard referral form

Building a patient referral network will help generate a steady stream of new clients for your nutrition practice. Share this sample nutrition counseling referral form with physicians and other healthcare professionals who refer clients to your practice. You can include a downloadable link on your website, or strategically reach out to any healthcare professionals in your area. Leverage this referral form to introduce your nutrition practice and build relationships with providers that share the same client-base as you.

2. Follow-up with other providers after appointments

For best practices, always send an E-Fax to the referring provider, even if they do not explicitly ask for it, to build a relationship. In your letter, you’ll want to thank the provider for the referral and attach an assessment or chart note to be included in their client’s chart. Include your practice contact information and highlight that you would be happy to work with any other clients that could benefit from nutrition counseling sessions.

Don’t let the follow-ups stop after the first appointment, though.  Connect with the referring provider as needed to update them on your mutual client’s progress, or send periodic chart notes to be included in their chart. This will allow you to showcase the results you’re helping your mutual client achieve, and highlights the value of your nutrition services.

Tip: With Healthie’s built-in, HIPAA-compliant E-fax you can follow-up with physicians, other healthcare providers, therapists, and hospitals by sending Send chart notes, lab reports, intake forms, and documents following a session related to client care, as well as Receive referrals and chart note documents.

3. Refer clients back to your referral source

Referral networks are a two-way street. As you refer clients to other wellness providers, they will be reminded of your services, and refer clients back to you. Continuing to collaborate together helps to build a referral team as opposed to soliciting another wellness provider to share their client base. Use your “referral network,” list when you work with your own clients.

If in session it sounds like they could benefit from a consult with a specialist, you can give them some references from your own referral network. Clients will appreciate the real-time suggestions, and it will help them be more compliant with reaching out for more care or support.

How to Use Healthie to Manage your Referring Providers

Healthie’s Referring Providers feature makes it easy for providers and organizations to keep track of the healthcare professionals that they are in communication with. Diligently keeping track of your referral network will allow you to maintain important client communication, as well as continue to nurture your network to receive ongoing referrals.

Build your Referral List

This feature allows you to maintain a master list of referring providers independent of their relation to a particular client. Moreover, you can quickly view your top referring providers. 

You are able to save and sort by a provider’s Name, Business Name, Specialty, City, and number of Clients Referred. In addition, you can view and edit specific details about this referring provider. Referring providers will only have access to the specific records that you share via E-Fax. These providers will not have a Healthie account login through your account membership.

Add or remove a referring provider

Within your list of Referring providers, you can add New Referring Providers, and choose to associate existing clients with this provider. You will be prompted to add their basic information, contact information, clients you’d like to associate with this provider, and any notes that you’d like to save. Notes are not viewable by the Provider or by your clients but can be used as an internal reference for you and your team.

To add a new Referring Provider, navigate to the Gear Icon and click on “Settings.”  ON the left-hand side panel, click on the “Referring Providers” tab under Business.  From here, you can click on the blue “Add New Referring Provider” button.   A side panel drawer will slide out, prompting you to complete information on the referring provider.  

Add a referring provider within a client’s profile

You may find it easier for your workflow to add a new referring provider directly through your client’s profile. You are able to have multiple referring providers on file for a single client, as well as remove the association of a referring provider with a specific client. If a provider’s information is associated with a particular client, then the Referring Provider information will pre-populate into CMS 1500 and other forms in the platform, as well as within the Client’s Profile.  

To add a referring provider through a client’s profile, go to the “Clients” tab on your dashboard and select your client. Click the “Actions” tab, and under “Client Info” click the “Referring Providers” button.  Click “Add Referring Provider” button, and complete the necessary information.

Sort and manage your Referral List

Once added, you can “View Details” on the referring provider by clicking the action tab (three dots) next to their contact info on the list. This will quickly display the Referring Providers’ contact information, associated clients, and any notes that you have added. 

On the main Referral List display, you can sort your list by: 

  • Referring Provider Name 
  • Referring Provider Business Name 
  • Specialty 
  • or City 

Import or export referral contacts

You may find the need to export your Referral List (ie. if you’d like to add referring contacts to a mailing list).   To export referral contacts, navigate to the Gear Icon on the top-right of your dashboard, and click on Settings. From the left-hand side panel, select “Referring Providers” under Business, and click the “Export as Spreadsheet” button 

You’ll see a green confirmation banner appear stating “Your spreadsheet is being generated, once it has been generated it will appear in the Generated Reports folder in “Documents.” You will be able to continue working within Healthie while the report generates. This will generate a CSV file containing information on your referring providers within Healthie.

You can easily import contacts into your Referral List by contacting the Healthie team. Send us an email to hello@gethealthie.com and our Support Team will assist you with the import. 

For additional information, be sure to read our Help Article on the Referring Providers feature. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to hello@gethealthie.com.

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