3 Strategies for Increasing Referrals

For palliative care teams, facilitating and maintaining relationships with referring clinicians is a constant area of focus. Consistently receiving appropriate referrals stimulates growth, and keeps programs thriving. Though the dynamics may vary from institution to institution, palliative care specialists share common obstacles when it comes to building these essential relationships. Most often, it begins with effectively showing how palliative care can support the efforts of clinicians as all parties work together to give seriously ill patients the best care possible.

Below are three proven strategies to increasing referrals.

1) Walk in Their Shoes

Andy E. Esch, MD: “I think the most important thing is to understand why they wanted my involvement in that particular patient’s case.”

2) Communicate Often

Sharika Newman, DO: “Talk with them, because they have the same problems you do. Everyone wants to be their best self.”

3) Activate the Advocates

Lori Yosick, MSW, LISW: “One of the things most physicians care about is time. We say ‘we can give you the gift of time.’”

Watch videos from palliative care experts on a wide variety of topics by visiting the CAPC video page.


  1. Gail Hurt says:

    Reaching out to the referring physician is so important. Our largest referring physician group is the hospitalist group. They are often stretched with multiple patients of which some have complex needs. As a result, we have a closer relationship with our hospitalist group as they appreciate us giving them the information needed, saving them valuable time and sometimes we are “palliating” them so as to get through their challenging day! A reminder that palliative care care for three people – patients, families …. and staff.

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