Changes in patient demand, the tumultuous landscape left by the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), and an industry-wide shift toward value-based care have created an ultra-competitive rehab therapy market. And while practices can pay for traditional marketing to acquire patients, building successful referral streams is still one of the most cost-effective ways to drive new business.
In the past, creating these referral streams was a bit of an abstract process that involved a lot of anecdotal analysis. Today, though, rehab therapists have a new tool to rise to the top—outcomes management. By properly harnessing the power of outcomes management data, you can start a calculated push to drive new business through professional and private referrals.
Stop a Negative Experience Dead in Its Tracks
The power of a positive review pales in comparison to the magnitude of a vocal client who has a bad experience. And the reality is that no matter how great a rehab therapy practice is, there are going to be people who aren’t completely pleased. Regardless of the reason for the dissatisfaction, if the situation isn’t remedied, you’ll end up with the exact opposite of a referral source.
Outcomes management software helps to identify these potential issues in real-time with built-in notifications. By tracking patient satisfaction throughout the entire episode of care, your team can quickly respond to dissatisfaction or changes in the satisfaction level.
And even if the client doesn’t express their dissatisfaction, the ability to benchmark clinical results, like improved physical function, against a risk-adjusted national database can help to spot clients who aren’t getting as much out of treatment as they might be able to.
Create Raving Fans
One of the first places that people go when they need to choose a service provider (in any industry) is their friends, family, and coworkers. As one of the most influential referral sources out there, it’s imperative to realize that every patient you treat is a potential source of new business somewhere down the line.
While providing the highest level of care is always what you strive for, outcomes management software helps you
- Drive higher satisfaction rates by showing patients in real-time how they’re doing compared with other patients with similar age, acuity level, involved body part, and other patient factors that impact outcomes.
- Increase patient activation and care participation by better outlining the treatment expectations from the start.
- Benchmark how your company, clinics, or clinicians are performing to find opportunities to improve.
- Find areas of your practice where your team outshines the industry and use ready-made marketing materials to drive referrals.
Don’t Forget Professional Referrals
Clients aren’t the only referral sources that can have a marked impact on your business. Professional sources like hospitals, physicians and other providers present phenomenal opportunities to drive new customers. And much like clients, these professionals want to recommend the providers that can deliver the highest level of care and the best results.
Outcomes management software tracks and reports the critical data points that matter to these sources. Additionally, many outcome quality measures are becoming more accessible to the public. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released Care Compare1, an online website that allows the public to compare healthcare providers of all different types on several quality indicators.
All of this should be viewed as a positive opportunity. As you continue to refine patient outcomes, the avenues to shine a light on those results and drive referrals are becoming more and more prominent.
A Focused Approach Forward
Improving patient outcomes is not only great for patients, but it helps to satisfy the needs of value-based care and build private and professional referral sources. Ultimately, clients and providers want to send their friends, family, and patients to the rehab therapists who prove to be the best in the business.
As you move forward in the competitive marketplace, it continues to become more and more important to be able to demonstrate your wins and address your opportunities to improve. And all of this starts with having the right software solutions in place to properly measure and manage your patient outcomes.
For rehab therapists, FOTO Patient Outcomes, a Net Health company, is the most robust solution on the market. FOTO puts the power of data into the therapist’s hands to facilitate growth, engage with patients, streamline operations, benchmark processes, and ultimately—create the loudest and proudest referral sources.
We’d encourage you to check out how FOTO might be able to help you and your team.
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1. https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
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