Physical Therapy Business Tips

5 Ways to Get More Physical Therapy Patient Referrals

updated on

May 8, 2024

5 Ways to Get More Physical Therapy Patient Referrals

Physical therapy referrals play a huge role in the success of your PT practice because they can significantly increase the number of patients who come to see you. When you’re running your own practice, every patient you can serve makes a difference. 

So how do successful physical therapy clinics get so many patient referrals and what can you do to emulate their success? In this article we break down the 5 most effective ways to get more PT patient referrals, how to make your practice stand out, and what tools to use along the way.

How Do You Build Patient And Professional Referrals?

Establishing a successful referral program for your practice is a process that should focus on showcasing your expertise to patients and other professionals, building a thriving referral community, hosting events at your practice, leveraging client testimonials, and using data to improve your results along the way.

Let’s dive into each of these approaches individually now. 

What Are The Best Ways To Showcase Your Expertise?

When searching for referrals, showcasing your expertise is a great way to prove your practice worthy to potential referring providers. There are many ways to do this, but some of the most common include highlighting your practice’s specialties on your website, starting a blog, and building a social media presence.

Focus On Your Practice's Specialties

Think about what makes your practice unique and advertise it. Whether it’s a specialty certification, particular physical therapy services, or even a treatment philosophy, potential referring providers will be more likely to refer patients to you if they have a good sense of who you are and what you do!

Start A Blog On Your Website

Blogs are one of the best ways to make your practice more visible to other providers in your community, while also demonstrating your expertise on a given topic. If you have a knack for writing or a staff therapist who would be interested in working on a blog for you, it’s never too early to start.

Guest Post

Not ready to start a blog on your own website? That’s okay. You can still showcase your expertise and make yourself more visible to referring providers by writing guest posts for other websites. Most often, the owner of the website will credit you and provide links to your practice, which is a great way to get free advertising.

Go On Podcasts

One of the most fun ways to get more physical therapy referrals (or nerve-racking, depending on your temperament) is to accept invitations to podcasts that focus on physical therapy or specific patient populations you work with. If you’re familiar with the podcast, there’s a good chance that referring providers in your area are too! 

Stay Active On Social Media

Social media has totally changed the way that physical therapy practices operate, and mostly for the better. Posting content through social media, whether it's infographics, exercise videos, or lifestyle tips, is an engaging way to get the attention of potential referring providers. This also lets them know that you want to go above and beyond for your patients.

Send Out A Newsletter With Helpful Tips

Regularly touching base with current and potential patients is a great way to let people know about your expertise. Email newsletters are one of the most effective ways to do this. Although you likely won’t be getting into the inboxes of potential referring providers with your newsletter, you’ll be the first practice that comes to mind when potential patients are talking to their doctor or current therapist about getting a PT referral.

Email newsletters are one of the most effective ways to get more referrals

How Do You Build A Referral Community?

Building a referral community for your practice is a process that involves finding and attending local networking events, joining relevant social media groups, engaging with physical therapy associations such as the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and attending conferences or workshops with physical therapists or other professionals.

Find Local Networking Events 

You’re not the only physical therapist looking for referrals to improve the health of their practice and that’s a very good thing! Check your local news source, events center, and local professional organization chapter for updates on networking events for healthcare professionals that are being held near you.

Social Media Groups

If you consider yourself too introverted for in-person networking events, social media groups for healthcare professionals are another great way to make connections with potential referring providers. Search for groups that focus on your local area for best referral results!

Physical Therapist Associations

Physical therapists’ associations are one of the best ways to get new physical therapy referrals, both from physical therapists in your area and other healthcare professionals, who can get your information from another person you’ve met through the association. With over 100,000 members, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is a great way to meet other PTs from all areas of practice.

Attend Conferences And Workshops

On top of being a great way to keep up with current standards in healthcare and learn new skills, conferences and workshops can be an effective way to meet like-minded providers in your area. For example, your local conference for healthcare professionals may include dedicated networking time, opportunities to meet leading experts, and even space for your practice to set up a booth and advertise your brand.

What Are The Different Ways To Host Events At Your Practice?

Hosting events at your practice is a great way to increase the visibility of your clinic and awareness of the services that you offer to your clients. Events to attract potential referring providers may include an open house, a lunch and learn, or hosting events for other clinics.

Have An Open House

Opening your doors to the public can be a great way to show off your space, facilitate some networking, and answer any questions other local providers may have. An open house makes sense during the early stages of your physical therapy clinic, since it boosts awareness of your presence and location. It's also important to consider hosting them annually to attract the attention of new providers in your area.

Host An Event For A Clinic Or Hospital

Other practices in your area may want to host events, but don’t always have the space or location available to make it happen. By offering up your practice space to other clinics, you can quickly bring a large group of local providers into your space and quickly increase your visibility.

Do A Lunch And Learn

Many providers are busy with their day-to-day tasks and sometimes lunch is the best time to share ideas or meet new people. You might invite a specific provider you’re interested in networking with to teach the staff of your physical therapy clinic. In other cases, you might offer your time up to another local practice and teach their staff. Either way, it’s a win-win scenario!

How Do Client Testimonials Lead To More Physical Therapy Referrals?

Client testimonials are a powerful referral tool for your practice in today’s healthcare landscape and they don’t have to live in just one place. Posting testimonials on your social media page, Google, and your own website are among the most effective strategies to boost physical therapy referrals.

Client testimonials are a powerful referral tool for your practice

One of the most effective ways to get testimonials from your patients is to ask for Google Reviews, which can seriously increase the visibility of your clinic and give you great sound bites for your marketing materials. For bonus points, you can increase the number of reviews you get with the help of Google Reviews Booster.

Of course, always remember to ask your clients for permission to share their testimonials on your website or elsewhere before you publish. If you’re looking to get more total reviews for your practice, try SurveyMonkey and TypeForm in addition to the tools mentioned above.

Why Do You Need To Set, Measure, And Track Results?

Even the best strategies to get more physical therapy referrals can fall flat sometimes, which is why it's important to set, measure, and track your results along the way. For example, monitoring how many referrals you’re getting per month, tracking attribution, and leveraging tools like Google Analytics.

Figure Out How Many Referrals You Want A Month

Knowing how many new referrals you want per month is the first step in setting your practice goals. If you’re not getting any referrals at the moment, you might start with a target of one to five referrals. However, if you’re already getting regular physical therapy referrals, you might consider increasing your target by 10%. You can read up on tips for marketing your business that will help you meet those goals.

Create A Customer Satisfaction Survey

Asking your clients to rate their experience at your practice is a highly effective first step to getting high reviews and patient testimonials. It’s good practice to ask every client for feedback. You can also look for opportunities with specific clients who may be able to provide good testimonials for your website.

Track Attribution

While it can be annoying to fill out yet another “How did you hear about us?” on your intake questionnaire, this is important information for practice owners. By tracking where your referrals are coming from, you can better decide where to put your efforts (and what relationships to prioritize) in the future.

Monitor Conversion Rates

Understanding how successful your marketing strategies are often starts with monitoring conversion rates. In the case of physical therapy referrals, this means tracking and reviewing how many referrals lead to desired outcomes, such as website visits, patient discovery calls, and initial evaluations.

Identity What Channels Are Driving The Most Referrals

After you’ve put in some work establishing different avenues for referrals, and you’ve got some data to look at, you’ll want to assess which channels are getting you results. Networking and advertising are rarely free, so investing more in the channels that are paying off – and less in the channels that aren’t – is critical if you want to get client referrals.

Use Referral Codes

One of the easiest ways to promote, measure, and track your physical therapy patient referrals is with referral codes. For example, you might provide Dr. Singh with the referral code SinghRx  and prompt clients for a referral code during their online intake. This makes it very clear who is referring patients to you and how much conversion those referrals are leading to.

Set Up Google Analytics

Few tools are more powerful than Google Analytics for monitoring just about every aspect of your website’s traffic and performance. You don’t need to be a tech genius to get the most effective analytics tools running on your website. Setting up just a few tools, like monitoring total clicks or conversions on a specific call to action, can give you valuable information for your practice.

All these new patients will need documentation so you can give them world-class care. You’ll want to make sure that you have the best practice management software possible. ClinicSense offers physical therapy practice owners the software they need to save time, improve SOAP notes, and retain hard-earned clients for the long term. You can get a SOAP notes free trial of ClinicSense today to help you manage your new patient load.

Once your physical therapy referrals have entered your practice, you can start bringing the best of your physical therapy practice to the lives of your patients with more ease, more confidence, and more success.

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