What is interprofessional collaboration and how can it help you build your medical practice brand? When you step into the telemedicine space, you are not stepping into a vacuum. You are stepping into what should be a well-integrated network that runs on collaboration.
As a medical provider, you know that we all have our own skill sets, specializations, strengths, and weaknesses. Our field works when we work together. For instance, if you provide primary care, you will want to have a rolodex of cardiologists that you can call on a Friday afternoon if you have an abnormal EKG that you need to run. If you are an urgent care center, and you have a patient that needs to urgently be seen by an orthopedic surgeon, you will want to be able to refer them to someone you personally know and trust who can squeeze them in at the last minute. This is not just a matter of professional connection; your patient’s health depends on timely treatment.
If you have your own practice, it is essential that you know other medical providers in your area that you can both give and receive patient referrals. Not only does it help your patients, it also helps your business. When you refer patients to others, they are also likely to refer their patients to you. This helps you build your medical brand and reputation.
Here, we list out a few ways that you can build your medical practitioner brand by collaborating.
Find Nearby Peers
So, how do you start collaborating? If you are new to this field, you can simply start local. It is up to you to make the effort to find healthcare professionals in your area and get to know them. You can start with a Google search, or by browsing through Yelp for medical professionals in your area. Once you have found someone of interest, you can schedule an appointment with them or offer to take them out for a coffee. Perhaps they might prefer a short 20-minute meeting in their office. Either way, get some one-on-one time with them so that you both can get to know each other, and so that you can explain what you are trying to do with your own practice and learn about their practice.
Establishing this early rapport is key to eventual success. You can start out by reaching out to them over email and letting them know that you are a nurse practitioner working in the same area, maybe just a few miles apart. You have reached out to them as you know that they are a local expert specialist, and you have a lot of patients who need their services. As such, you would love to be able to refer them to someone that you both personally know and trust. Perhaps they would like to meet for a coffee so that you can both get to know each other and discuss potentially working collaboratively?
These one-and-one meetings are not just a way for you to gain connections, they are also a way for you to vet the people you will be potentially entrusting your patients’ care. You do not want to end up referring your patients to someone with a cold and curt manner or who works out of an office that is understaffed and mismanaged. So, take your time in getting to know health care providers in your area. After all, you will hopefully be collaborating closely with them.
Our next suggestion for building your brand is in-person events. This can include going to local health fairs and getting a table. What usually works best is if you share a table. This means that you share both the costs and the effort in running it. Perhaps you can get in touch with a local colleague. Or, if you are a diabetes expert, reach out to a podiatrist or an ophthalmologist; both of you can treat this as a joint venture.
Other types of physical events that you could attend are talks at local libraries or community centers. These are effective ways to engage the community that you are working in and make a name for yourself among the residents.
Virtual events are incredibly useful especially to reach collaborators who may be further away. Perhaps you can set up a Q&A with an expert in your field or a related field or conduct a dialogue. Virtual events allow you to engage practitioners outside of your locality. If they share the video on their own channels, it can also open up your practice to a wider audience. Sharing the video on your own channel also helps you increase your exposure.
Our next advice is to write. You can collaborate with a colleague to co-author an article that you can publish in a local newspaper magazine or an academic journal. You could author a book or an e-book. If you are doing the latter, there are online opportunities that will allow you to publish at low cost. Having a book to your name establishes you as an expert in your field. If your book is a project that you share with other colleagues, with each of you tackling a chapter based on your personal specialty, that is all the better. It shows that you are well-integrated in a network of healthcare professionals and introduces you to new connections.
If you are a nurse practitioner looking to work with a collaborating physician, Collaborating Docs is just the place. We help match NPs with carefully vetted collaborating physicians for their independent medical practice. Request a Zoom call to get a free quote from us today!