The essential referral metric that gets overlooked

PT owners talk to me all the time about their struggle to get a handle on referrals. I tell them: like any other aspect of your practice, referrals need to be measured, tracked, and analyzed. Do you know how well your referral sources are functioning? How often your referrals are converting to new patients, and how many visits those patients average? Do you know what referral sources are contributing to the most to your bottom line?

Without objective data, you’re flying blind. For practice owners, that constant uncertainty brings about stress and overwhelm.  

There are several metrics that can tell us what we need to know about referral performance. Key metrics, including numbers of referrals, conversions, visits per patient, and net revenue per visit, all deliver valuable insight.

There’s another really important referral metric that rarely gets calculated: REFERRALS OUT.

I can almost hear you thinking: why would my outgoing referrals matter?

Too often, PT owners think of referrals as a one-way street. You’ve heard me talk about why partnerships are the key to abundant PT referrals.

In partnership, we’re working for mutual benefit. The goal isn’t only about what we can get from sources. It’s about what we can give and invest, as a stepping stone toward our own short- and long-term success.

Along with other traditional referral metrics, tracking referrals out shows you valuable objective information about the strength and profitability of your referral partnerships.

How referrals really fit into your financial picture

Partnership may seem hard to quantify: they are not. This data point for outgoing referrals is often a missing piece. When you look at referrals out alongside referrals in and other referral metrics, you get a more complete picture about the profitability of your partnerships—and which referral sources are most worth cultivating further.

How partnerships are really working

To develop a diverse stream of referral partnerships, it is essential to look beyond the physician-physical therapist channel, to other partners in community. Measuring referrals out helps tell the story—objectively, with data—of how effectively different partnerships are working. This metric can help you identify partnerships that are working well, and partnerships that, with more attention, can deliver even bigger returns for your effort.  It also can shed light on those referral partnerships that aren’t delivering value—and may need re-thinking.

Staying connected to your target audience

What do your patients need? How can you solve their problems, and provide them with the most comprehensive, exceptional care? Tracking referrals out provides some critical insight about the other, non-competitive services your patients are seeking. The more you understand your patients–what they want and need from you and other health providers –the better you can attract them, serve them, keep them coming back.

Your ability to identify your ideal patient and deliver service that meets their needs it what will distinguish your clinic from the rest of the crowd. Use my FREE guide, 3 Simple Things That Will Get You More Patients and Make You More Money Right Now, to learn how to identify your target audience and get them to your clinic.