Most podiatrists are well aware that advanced care of diabetic patients should be a cornerstone of any successful practice. The number of patients diagnosed with diabetes continues to escalate. With so many aspects of the disease having serious implications for the feet, it’s imperative for patient outcomes and the health of podiatric practices to be sure that diabetic patients have a foot and ankle doctor on their medical team. How do you attract these referrals to your office? At The Institute of Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED) we have the benefit of insight and experience of many physicians in the field of podiatry—both those fresh out of school and residency and veterans that have been practicing successfully for many years. Below are some tips on bringing this important segment of the patient population to your practice:
- Get Featured—Offer yourself as a speaker. Look for opportunities to be a presenter in settings that are likely to have larger numbers of people with diabetes. Senior centers, AARP groups, JCC and churches are all possibilities. There are also diabetic support groups who would welcome the expertise of a podiatrist to address concerns their members may have. Focus on delivering high quality and useful information—the referrals will follow naturally.
- Reach out to Referring Physicians—Why should a doctor refer a patient recently diagnosed with diabetes to you? Probably because you have already established a relationship with that doctor. Visiting physicians in person, offering “Lunch and Learn Programs” and sending out periodic articles about important issues related to diabetes and podiatry that doctors can hand out to patients (with your name and contact info at the bottom) are all excellent ways of keeping your name at the forefront when it’s time for referrals.
- Go to the Health Fair—Foot screenings and health fairs are frequently offered in community centers, senior and assisted living centers and sometimes in larger corporations. Avail yourself of the opportunity to present displays and information about diabetic foot care. Have the office appointment book with you so you can make appointments on the spot and be sure to capture key contact information for future marketing efforts.