Data highlights trends in sources of new patients for medical practices
New York, N.Y.—December 7, 2011—Phreesia, the patient check-in company, has found that 50 percent of new patients in physicians’ office are referred by family and friends. Phreesia, which checks in millions of patients each year, surveyed a random sampling of 50,000 new patients from 500 practices across the United States in order to provide medical practices with critical data about their referral patterns and patient engagement. The results will help doctors make more informed decisions about how to increase patient satisfaction and, in turn, attract new patients.
Phreesia’s study was conducted from September 2009 through November 2011. Major findings include:
- Fifty percent of new patients were referred by friends and family of established patients. Physician referrals drove 24 percent of all new-patient referrals. However, significant differences emerged between primary care and specialist practices; only 14 percent of referrals to PCP offices were from other physicians, compared to 40 percent of referrals to specialists’ practices.
- Internet searches, including Google and other search sites, drove 10 percent of referrals.
- Referrals from insurance providers fueled 10 percent of patient referrals.
- The remaining 6 percent of referrals were attributed to the practice’s location, as well as listings in phone books and newspapers.
Phreesia’s study results suggest that all practices should solicit feedback from patients, via feedback surveys and other tracking mechanisms, to gauge the patient experience. This will ensure that patients remain a dependable source of referrals. At the same time, it will help improve patient engagement and, ultimately, improve care outcomes. Specialists should also solicit feedback from physician colleagues who are referral sources.
“Phreesia’s insight into patient referral sources is invaluable information for medical practices,” says Dr. Archelle Georgiou, healthcare industry expert and president of Georgiou Consulting, LLC. “Medical practices can fine-tune their approach to attracting new patients, and Phreesia’s customized data insights are a great way for practices to optimize both their clinical and financial performance.” In addition to releasing aggregate data to highlight trends in the healthcare industry, Phreesia provides custom reports for practices in its network, highlighting their specific breakdown of patient referral sources.
“Phreesia partners with practices to help them constantly evolve with shifting market conditions and ensure that they maintain strong referral networks,” says Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig. “Our unique patient engagement model gives us deep insight into the check-in process, and these customized reports for our practices are just one example of how we use our data to help clinicians improve their business processes.”