When people have problems with their teeth or jaws and/or are concerned about pretty smiles, they usually call their dentist. When the same people experience pain or other symptoms throughout the rest of their body, the first call goes to a physician.
But the head and the body are very connected. Some diseases show their first signs in the mouth. Other diseases might have their initiation from the mouth, but only become apparent to the individual when symptoms and signs show up elsewhere.
So, knowing this, if you are a practicing dentist, are you developing relationships and marketing to physicians for patient referrals?
There is much evidence that chronic inflammation from periodontal disease may be related to other systemic problems and elevate the risk of developing heart attacks, stroke, pregnancy complications, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. It would certainly be appropriate to communicate with local primary care physicians, internists and cardiologists in these situations.
A large segment of the population experiences headaches and often turn to primary care docs, ENT’s, neurologists and chiropractors to rule out organic causes and neurological disorders. It’s not uncommon to be bounced from medical doctor to medical doctor without coming up with a diagnosis, since the cause may be due to the patient’s occlusion or TMJ problems.
Over 90 million Americans have some type of sleep disorder and many are diagnosed with sleep apnea. While a common solution prescribed by the physician is the use of a positive pressure device worn over the nose when the person sleeps, many can’t tolerate this device and remain at risk. For patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, dentists who practice “sleep dentistry” can provide snoring and other oral appliances as an effective treatment for the patient.
A significant number of people have metal allergies – some specifically to titanium. Doesn’t it make sense to contact local allergists to let them know that patients needing dental implants can be treated at your office with zirconium implants and restorations rather than titanium as an alternative.
Developing relationships between medical doctors and dentists is the direction we are heading. According to this article, Physicians Dissatisfied with Current Referral Process to Dentists Authors: M. Beth Miloro, D.D.S.; Marko Vujicic, Ph.D. “The use of a universal electronic referral system by physicians and dentists would improve patient care and reduce health care costs. Not only do electronic referrals enable contact between the referring physician and dentist, they improve efficiency of communication and can allow for triaging of patients. Gandhi et al.4 found that when primary care providers (PCPs) used an electronic referral tool within an electronic medical record, the chances that information was received by specialists prior to the patient’s referral visit were three times as high as when PCPs did not use the tool. An important component of the ACA is the electronic health record (EHR) system.”
PatientStudio Online Referral Form and Marketing Program
Specialists, or GP dentists can utilize the PatientStudio online referral form and market to medical referring docs and potential medical referring docs. You can keep track of your referring medical docs in a referral database to be sure that you thank them appropriately. Each month, with one click, you can send individual emails to everyone in your data base reminding them to refer patients and communicating with them how their patients can be helped by your office.
To learn how to get potential referring medical docs’ emails easily and quickly, write me at Keith@PatientStudio.com and give me your contact information with “Potential Referring Docs” as the subject.
For a white paper that discusses online referrals in more detail, click here