One of the areas that I feel in our industry that is in desperate need to make more efficient is the entire process of referring patients to specialists. If done correctly, this can be a really time consuming task which should include:
1. The doctor filling out a physical referral slip and then documenting the referral in the patient’s clinical
2. While the patient is still there, hopefully your practice has the front office call the specialist to
coordinate an appointment for the patient instead of letting the patient call on their own because we all
know if that’s the case, most likely it ain’t gonna happen.
3. And this one is the most important. Follow ups!! Have the front office create a follow up reminder to
check back with the specialist after the patient’s scheduled appointment date. Now this is done for several
a. To make sure the patient kept their appointment
b. If they didn’t, did they reschedule? You need to document either way in the patient’s chart, but if they
did reschedule, create another follow up reminder.
c. Did they complete all the patient’s treatment or are they returning for a second appointment? If returning,
note the date of their next appointment and once again create another follow up reminder.
d. If all treatment is complete and the patient has insurance, ask the specialist’s office how much are they
expecting from the insurance company. This will come into play a little bit later.
4. Documentation! Most computer softwares have an area in the patient’s account where you enter which
specialist you referred the patient to. This is great information to have because let’s say one day you
want to see how many patients you’re referring to a specific specialty. Maybe you’ve discovered that it
would be more profitable or in your best interest to find for example a traveling oral surgeon that comes
in once per month to do all of your surgeries. So utilize this area in your software. Secondly, your front
office also needs to document or notate in the patient’s chart where you referred them, for what procedure
and the date of their appointment with the specialist. If they didn’t schedule, document the reason why and
determine if creating another follow up reminder is in order.
5. Scanning the referral slip, exporting any x-rays, perio charts or any other documentation and then emailing
everything as attachments to the specialist.
6. More follow up and reminders. After they see the specialist, make sure you receive the reports from them.
You need these for your own records. Plus, the doctor needs to review them and advise the front office if
the patient needs to return for any subsequent procedures. Then the report is filed or scanned into the
7. If subsequent procedures are necessary for the patient, this is where knowing how much insurance monies
were used over at the specialist is important. This way the front office can create a more accurate
treatment plan to present to the patient.
8. And then lastly, contacting the patient, going over the treatment plan and getting them scheduled for an
A lot of work, right? I recall spending hours alone just going back and forth on the phone with the specialist’s office for all of the necessary follow ups.
So, I was really excited when I met a gentleman by the name of Travis Rodgers back in January that created a product called, One Click Referral that streamlines this whole process. And the best thing is it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE for the General Dentists. I had the opportunity to chat with Travis about One Click Referral where he gives a quick demo on how it works.
Watch the full demo below:
If you have questions or want more information:
One Click Referral
Text the word “Click” to 444999
Please note I don’t get any kickbacks for referrals. I just really feel that this is a great product. So check it out if you get a chance.
I hope you found this information helpful.
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