9 Physician Liaison Strategies: Redefining the Role in Healthcare


If you are a physician liaison, I’m sure you are often asked what it is you actually do. Personally, I am asked for a physician liaison job description almost daily, by people inside and outside our industry. In fact, the inspiration for this article is a conversation I recently had with my brilliant, beautiful, all-around incredible BETTER half of a wife (she may or may not read this, can’t be too careful!). This is a woman that has worked in the healthcare space for some time, is a PA and is married to a man that works with physician liaisons, and on physician liaison strategies, daily. Yet, even she still struggles to fully grasp the job description of a physician liaison and how critical an effective sales/outreach program is for the success of an organization.

It’s easy to see how she could be unclear as liaisons also sometimes struggle with how to succinctly describe their role and job description. All too often I hear some version of this, “My job is to make physicians happy.” While that is partially true, it just scratches the surface of what an effective liaison does, and more importantly, what an effective program should accomplish.

The number one goal of the most successful outreach programs is to strategically increase market share. By focusing on the below physician liaison strategies/success indicators, you can be sure that you are helping define the role of an effective physician liaison for your organization.


Physician Liaison Value Compensation Survey

Recently, we completed a value and compensation survey where we surveyed nearly 200 liaisons. As you’ll see in the graphic below, many of the key success factors are often the biggest challenges liaison’s face in their roles, so some of this is easier said than done!

Based on this survey, here are 9 physician liaison strategies that can help redefine the role – and success.


Top 9 Physician Liaison Strategies


1. Take Physician Liaison Training/Education

One of my colleagues likes to say that you are “either green and growing or ripe and rotting.” Continue to seek opportunities for ongoing sales training as well as education about the key service lines you are supporting as this allows you to position yourself as a field expert!

2. Restructure Outreach Program & Internal Collaboration

Structure your program in a way that allows liaisons to affect change. This means having a reporting structure that gives providers and other internal stakeholders the impression that the liaison is effectively a representative of leadership.

3. Eliminate Access Issues

One of the most common barriers to growth is ACCESS! Work to get the people closest to key access points involved in eliminating any issues that prevent your organization from accommodating the new referrals you generate. Countless referrals are won by simply providing the path of least resistance. At Tiller-Hewitt, we launch and manage LEAN teams and events focused on improving access to key services lines.

4. Have a Strategic Focus

Make time to routinely assess your organization’s strategic plan and shift your efforts as necessary to ensure you are pushing forward those strategies that will align with your leadership’s goals.

5. Get Stakeholder (Leadership & Providers) Involvement/Buy-In

Along those lines, it’s also important that others within the operational team view the liaison as a partner in uncovering and responding to issues. This includes building accountability systems to ensure that your leadership team and key department leaders are consistently closing the loop on issues and opportunities that relate to their departments. It is key to have a strategic sequenced communication plan to ensure your role and expectations are clearly defined both internally within the organization as well as the providers we serve.

6. Identify Market Challenges/Opportunities

Be an expert of your local market by studying the competition to determine opportunities to intelligently defend or up-sell your organization. This may include working with your PRM partner to obtain timely claims data, allowing you a better picture of the relationships that exist between providers in your market.

7. Use a Good PRM

Choose a product that is not only easy to use and mobile-friendly but also includes the activity, issues and leadership reports you need to connect the dots for the different levels within your organization.

8. Seek Out Referral Data

Referral data from your EHR can offer insights into the quality and quantity of referrals coming into your organization as well as those leaking out. If you don’t have consistent access to this today, seek out referral data specific to the key areas you are focusing on in the year ahead.

9. Review Your Collateral/Marketing

Assess your arsenal of marketing collateral and referral tools that make referring to your organization as easy as possible.


For more information about these physician liaison strategies, please reach out to me directly. Or for more insights on training, launching an effective sales/outreach program, program assessments or to access several free tools and resources created by and for great liaisons, visit www.tillerhewitt.com.