5. Customize your relationships
Whether ophthalmologists receive referrals from an optometrist associated with a corporate chain or private practice, they need to understand how each practice functions so they can better serve that practice.
That begins with some mechanism to organize information about each practice.
“We created an Excel spreadsheet of preferences, contact information, and available diagnostic and imaging tools,” said Elizabeth Yeu, MD, assistant professor, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and partner, Virginia Eye Consultants, Norfolk, VA. “Just like there is such a breadth of MD practices, there is a breadth of OD practices.”
“We find out from each co-managing partner exactly how they would like their patients to be managed,” Dr. Yeu said.
For example, some expect patients to be returned as soon as possible, whereas others may ask the ophthalmologist to take care of the patient throughout the postoperative period or for everything related to glaucoma, for example, and just return the patient for glasses and contact lenses.
“This is how you are going to create a successful network,” Dr. Yeu said. “Not all referring practices are created equal, so you have to customize your specific relationship with the specific practice that is referring to you, but you need to begin with an organized process.