How to Use eReferral and Lead Tracking Technology: A Guide

In today’s fast-paced healthcare landscape, the therapy and rehab industry has no choice but to keep up with the ever-evolving technology to meet the demands of patients and stay ahead of the competition.

Unfortunately, many practices still rely on traditional methods of exchanging patient referrals and generating leads, which can be time-consuming, and inefficient. This may lead to missed opportunities.

Fortunately, with the integration of eReferral and lead tracking technology into their EHRs, practices can streamline their workflow and improve patient care while saving valuable time and resources. Let’s learn how. 

Transition Your Referral Tracking Online

Tracking and monitoring incoming and outgoing patient referrals can be one of a practice’s biggest challenges. In fact, studies show that 60 to 70% of referrals are never scheduled! Why is that? Paper and fax referrals are inherently inefficient. 

Transitioning your referral process to an eReferral process that integrates with your EMR system can save your practice time, resources, and help you generate more revenue. 

Here are seven ways eReferrals can help your practice become more efficient: 

  1. Electronic referrals mean the front desk knows the referral has been received and is not lost in transit. Previously this was very difficult to track; however, now there is a full, auditable pathway.
  2. Providers can send notes, x-rays, MRIs, or other documents as attachments with the referral.
  3. It is a safer method for urgent referrals than relying on the patient to deliver a referral letter. 
  4. Electronic referrals can be searched digitally, which means more time saved for staff vs. locating the paper record.
  5. An electronic referral is legible. Difficulties in deciphering handwriting on the paper referral forms can lead to delays in processing the referral.
  6. The patient experience is improved. They are booked for an appointment sooner electronically, which can also lead to better compliance with care plans.
  7. An electronic referral is received quicker than using paper. A referral can be sent, received, and approved the same day the patient visited their provider. That means more appointments, faster. 

Setting Up the Ideal eReferral Program

One of the key factors to consider when setting up an eReferral program is selecting a reliable technology system that is easy to use and compatible with your existing electronic medical record (EMR) system. Integration with your EMR system will allow for seamless data transfer and reduce the risk of errors and duplications. 

The ideal system will allow you to set up a referral source table for all of your referring providers, allowing you to assign a unique referral URL for each provider. This URL will be pre-populated with the provider’s contact and clinic information so that when the provider sends a patient referral, all they have to do is enter the patient information, requested services, diagnosis, and comments saving them precious time. This also allows you to map the referral seamlessly into your EMR system. 

To help your practice drive referrals from your referral sources, you can create a marketing campaign promoting the pre-populated provider URLs. Have providers bookmark the URL for easy submission of future referrals.  

Once Your eReferral is Received, Automate the Lead Tracking

To achieve maximum efficiency, your eReferral technology should flow seamlessly into lead tracking.  

Lead tracking technology allows you to track incoming leads and potential patient referrals as a lightweight record and start communicating with them as your staff works to convert them into a full-fledged patient of the practice. 

You can track your referrals through a mix of automatic and manual stages throughout your office staff’s attempts to reach patients and get them scheduled. Allowing the clinic to track their Lead to Patient Conversion success.

Various automation capabilities are built into many lead tracking tools and can be scheduled as needed. Highlights include:

  1. Automated Follow-ups. If you cannot get in touch with the referral or primary contacts of the referral, tell the system when to text or email the patient asking them to contact your office to schedule the initial appointment. 
  2. Contact Information Confirmation. Automatically send faxes to referral sources when you cannot reach the patient or their primary contacts, asking them to confirm the contact information for the referral lead. 
  3. Appointment Confirmation. Automatically fax the referring physician upon scheduling the evaluation appointment.

Lead tracking allows you to track potential patients within your EMR system, allowing you to convert leads to patients with a single click with no duplicate data entry.

Creating an Efficient Practice with eReferrals and Lead Tracking

By incorporating eReferrals and lead tracking technology tools into your practice’s workflow, you are creating efficiencies that will save your practice time, resources, and money. You will communicate better with referring providers, improve patients’ access to care, and remove burdens from your staff. 

Learn more about how Raintree can help you today with a powerful lead tracking and eReferral management solution, designed for therapy and rehab practices.

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