How Can I Best Use Digital Communications to Market to Referring Physicians?

March 1, 2013

Ask The Expert with Daniel Fell

Daniel FellOn balance, most hospital system websites are consumer-oriented, mean­ing the content and its presentation are organized to appeal to patients and potential pa­tients. Although some sites have links to unique content for other user audiences such as employees and healthcare professionals – and a few even utilize prominent tabs to separate their visitors into dedicated content portals – there is less focus on referring physicians. Even less common are entirely separate web­sites or microsites that serve only referral sources.

However, there appears to be a growing trend among providers to build more robust online content and digital user experiences for healthcare professionals – and specifically for referring physicians. That isn’t surprising, given the importance of this audience to the average healthcare system and the availability of new technologies and tools with which to connect to this target group.

As key provisions of the Affordable Care Act take hold, the investment in building and maintaining these referral relationships and partner­ships among providers will only increase.

Kriss Barlow, a principal with the physician relations consulting firm Barlow/McCarthy, emphasizes the importance of referring physicians. “Regardless of [the] medical model, referring physicians have a pivotal role in guiding people in need of specialists. Tertiary needs remain physician driven,” she says.


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