Physician Relations: The Secret to Keeping Patients in Your Network

October 31, 2017

// By Lisa D. Ellis //

Katie Alexander, director of physician relations at Tampa General Hospital

Katie Alexander, director of physician relations at Tampa General Hospital

Close examination of your referral patterns may bring to light some surprising gaps in your current practices that could be impacting your revenues.

That was recently the case at Tampa General Hospital (TGH), says Katie Alexander, director of physician relations at TGH. But once her organization identified the problem using a Physician Relationship Management (PRM) solution that enabled her to track a variety of indicators and add insights from outside data points to paint a clearer picture, she adds that it was easy to find ways to address the issue effectively to boost volume and provide a more coordinated approach to patient care.

Identifying a Problem

TGH is a private, nonprofit hospital that serves as a Level I trauma center for a 12-county radius on the west coast of Florida. It’s also a primary teaching facility for the University of South Florida.

As in most systems, Tampa’s electronic medical records were not always capturing the detailed path that led patients to the hospital for treatment, according to Alexander. With the hospitalist model used at TGH, it was often unknown who referred the patient to seek care. On the flip side, there was also no formal method to track affiliated physicians’ referral patterns. Complicating matters is that the health system employs only a small physicians group. This means that most affiliated physicians have a choice of where to send their patients, elevating the importance of strong physician-management relationships to keep patients in the system.

To understand the untapped opportunities, as well as areas that need more improvement, Alexander analyzes third-party claims and identifies referral patterns.


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