The Role of Referrals in PT Practice Growth

It goes without saying that referrals are central to the growth of any business—and your physical therapy practice certainly qualifies as a business. As an owner, you’re not only responsible for overseeing the treatment of patients, but you’ve got to keep the lights on too. A proven way to do this is by attracting new patients, and new revenue, to your practice. But gaining more referrals often requires a different approach to physical therapy practice growth.


Let’s start by defining referral: the Meriam-Webster dictionary says that a referral as “the process of directing or redirecting (as a medical case or a patient) to an appropriate specialist or agency for definitive treatment.” Personally I’m a fan of their second, simpler, definition: “an individual that is referred.”


The bulk of your referrals may come from within your local medical community—they come from your friends and colleagues who you’ve built a rapport with over the years.  But, it never hurts to try a new and novel approach to referral marketing. And to be frank, that may be the only way you’re going to see a notable growth spurt in your practice.


Click here to read recent article on that discusses some of the venues that are likely to yield referrals.


  1. Cycling & running shops


Retail shops like these attract some of the most active, health conscious people in the community. It wouldn’t hurt to strike up a chat with management and drop a line about your practice. They may even allow you to keep your business cards or flyers by the cash register.


  1. School athletic departments


Physical education teachers and coaches have a responsibility to show students how to avoid physical injury. As a PT practitioner, you’re equipped with the knowledge to help them achieve this. Try offering to host workshops and seminars and effectively put yourself in a position to get some more referrals. Some physical therapy EMR solutions, like Practice Perfect, give you a place to record the referral source directly on the client’s profile so you can know exactly where they came from.


Click here to read our article on how to keep your physical therapy medical records organized.


  1. Senior centres


Introduce yourself to the director at your local old age home and offer up your services. You may earn yourself an invitation to host a seminar on balance, fall prevention, and arthritis management—all key issues for elderly folks.


  1. Incentives


Offer a small token of appreciation to current clients who tell a friend or family member about your practice. You’d be surprised how many new patients a few $20 Amazon Gift Card could get you.


  1. Local gyms


Like cycling & running shops, your local gym is full of people who have taken an interest in their physical wellbeing. Don’t be shy—spark up a conversation with management about the possibility of running a free workshop to meet some potential clients.


If you’re interested in getting more patients in through your doors, we recommend taking some time to learn some more about how your physical therapy EMR software play a direct role in the growth of your practice.

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