Your home care agency’s success relies on a consistent roster of clients to serve. Your clients find you from different places. Some may find you on social media while others might know of your agency because they drive by your office on the way to work. However, without a strong network of professional referral sources, your agency will struggle with getting new clients on your roster.
Importance of Professional Referral Sources
Your network of professional referral sources is crucial to the long-term success of your agency. When you have professionals who refer your services and your agency, you benefit by:
- Increased reputation throughout professional circles
- Increased brand recognition from professionals, patients, and family members
- More opportunities to give presentations and leverage yourself as a leader within your area
- Better chance of being noticed on social media due to tags and highlights from your professional referral sources
- The chance to offer specialized services to meet referral source needs (Veterans care, stroke care, etc.)
- A robust funnel of new and returning clients
Hospital Discharge Planners
The hospital discharge planner is an important part of your network of professional referral sources. This person is working with families and seniors in crisis, and is the key to a successful and healthy discharge. Hospital discharge planners are typically solutions-focused and very loyal to agencies that provide those solutions to patients.
You can develop a relationship with your local discharge planners by:
- Giving them tangible resources they can pass to family members, like updated and branded brochures, articles, or other information
- Communicating readily and being available for them at all times
- Offering in-person assessments at the hospital and home-based fall risk assessments in order to make discharge planning more successful
Elder Law Attorney
Your community has a few attorneys that specialize in elder law services and they are a valuable resource to seniors, their families, and potentially your agency. An elder law attorney actively works with older adults and their family members, and families often turn to them for future planning needs.
You can develop a relationship with your local elder law attorneys by:
- Offering to lead informational sessions about home care or senior-focused topics that they sponsor in their office or in another venue in town
- Giving them access to an online library of resources, divided by topic, on your website that they can pass along to clients as the needs arise
- Reminding them about your services that can directly benefit clients that are losing independence at home
Skilled Nursing Social Workers
Many seniors end up leaving the hospital and heading to skilled nursing for inpatient OT, PT, and other services to build their endurance before they head back home. The Social Workers in SNFs are typically in charge of discharge planning and setting up services that will keep the older adult healthy at home.
You can develop a relationship with your local SNF Social Workers by:
- Sponsoring events (like Bingo) and lectures for family members and residents
- Offering free in-home assessments of the home prior to discharge
- Offering fall-risk assessments and recommendations prior to discharge
- Providing family members and residents with discharge kits that include a gift card to a local food delivery place, a cozy blanket, emergency contact sheet, etc.
While these professional referral sources are certainly not the only ones your agency should have a relationship with, they are a good start. Begin actively cultivating relationships with these professionals as a part of your marketing strategy.
Article written by Haley Burress.
Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.
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