The Role of Physician Relations in Driving Growth

January 3, 2023

While health system marketing departments largely focus on consumers, physician relations professionals, aligned with business development, focus on building relationships with referring physicians, overcoming barriers, and growing referrals.

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

Jane Weber BrubakerConnections between hospitals and doctors working outside the hospital aren’t as strong as they used to be. “So many organizations have realized we have completely lost touch with our primary care physicians,” says Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA, principal at Barlow McCarthy. “They don’t come to the hospital, they use hospitalists.”

Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA, principal at Barlow McCarthy

Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA, principal at Barlow McCarthy

The pandemic has added to the challenges. “Everything changed with COVID,” she says. “Now, if a liaison sees the same office person two visits in a row, it’s a surprise, so you’re starting over with relationship building, even to get in.”

Yet the need for hospitals to restore and ramp up the specialty services that are their bread and butter has never been greater, and the work of physician relations departments to increase referrals and drive growth has never been more critical.

In our wide-ranging Q&A with Barlow, we explore industry trends, highest priorities, and keys to success for physician relations professionals — plus benchmarking statistics and results of a survey on leakage.

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