How PT Referral Pads Spur Physician Referrals in the Digital Practice

Are Electronic Medical Records Making PT Referral Pads Obsolete?

Many PTs ask me if traditional referral pads are obsolete. The answer is NO! I know that may seem counterintuitive, especially since physicians don’t keep paper notes anymore, but simple old-fashioned prescription pads are more popular than ever. That’s because physicians say preprinted Rx pads do a better job of communicating next steps for treatment than their EMR notes.  This means that the physical therapy referral pad is an important clinical tool as well as a marketing tool.

Physicians Say Exam Room Communication Requires More Than EMR Data Entry

When it comes to interacting with a patient in the exam room, physicians tell me they still prefer to grab a preprinted referral sheet and handing it to the patient. They say it’s quick, easy, and has all the “need to know” information clearly spelled out. It’s also important to note that patients prefer the preprinted physical therapy order to the EMR printout. That’s because patients find EMR direction printouts confusing and often inaccurate.

Physician and patient discussing treatment

Will Your Physical Therapy Referral Pad Be Perceived As A Sample Or A Practical Clinical Tool?

It’s important to think about the best use of your referral pads from the physician’s standpoint, and when you give a physician only one pad, it’s perceived more  like a sample than a practical tool.  To them, one pad is just a marketing SAMPLE.  That’s why drug reps always leave boxes of samples, not just one. The best chance of getting used starts with an ample supply, and for your referral pads, we recommend at least one in EACH exam room.  Stack of PT Referral Pads

Influencing Physician Referral Behavior Is Easier With The Right Clinical Tools

After more than 18 years of working with clinics all over the country and Canada, my philosophy on how to successfully influence physician referral behavior is simple: Establish a professional presence at every possible point of contact. The goal of that presence is two-fold:

  1. Make your solutions to everyday clinical issues instantly evident.
  2. Create a branding presence that separates you from the competition in the minds of physicians and patients.

The Physician’s Physical Therapy Resource Kit Clinical Tools Physicians Will Use To Send New Patients To Your Clinic

Going beyond the physical therapy services order sheet, you can increase your clinical presence by expanding the patient education resources you provide physicians. The Physician’s Physical Therapy Resource Kit is a collection of materials, like the Rx pad, that have a useful clinical function. For example, if your specialty is orthopedic rehab, your kit could include materials that facilitate patient engagement BEFORE their surgical procedure.

Explore Ideas For Your Physical Therapy Referral Pad And Physician’s Physical Therapy Resource Kit – Book Free Strategy Consult Today

image of a physician referral pad being filled out