Simione™ Healthcare Consultants

Home Care & Hospice Sales: Q & A

Question:  How can we work more effectively using Nurse Liaisons in hospitals and other facilities?

Answer:  We have frequently reported on the importance of hospital liaisons, and how much potential for referrals and admissions they have. Today, we're going to talk about tips on hiring.


Look for flexibility: This is a job that requires good time management skills and the ability to juggle and prioritize multiple tasks.

Look for energy: This is not a job for someone who likes to spend time developing relationships with patients and families or who doesn't have the sense of urgency that’s critical to success in the admissions function.

Look for attitude: Your best bet is that this person will eat, sleep, and breathe admissions! You want someone who will get excited about building referrals 12% in 6 months, and will do everything they can to exceed their target.


What they do: Most hospices with a significant hospital base of referrals use liaisons to process new referrals, facilitate discharge and case manage GIP hospice patients at their contracted hospitals.

Marketing: While they should have referral development (aka "marketing") as their primary focus, most are uncomfortable with it. So it falls in the "if they have time" category, which translates into the "I am way too busy to do that, so I'll find something else to do instead" category.

LTC Facility Liaisons: While they're usually responsible for marketing here, too, many end up conducting countless inservices which do little to grow referrals. Again, a large part of this is due to their (dis)comfort zone. They profess to "like" marketing, but deep down inside they may want to be an admissions consultant and hospice educator.

If you have any questions, or are interested in our hospital Liaison online course, please email [email protected], and we can help you increase referrals and admissions.

Question: How do I know when to take a prospect off my list?

Answer: Once you've assigned a prospect to your list, it is important that you work it effectively until one of three things happens: the prospect moves, dies, or retires, the prospect becomes an account, meaning they start referring, or you and your manager decide that the potential you once saw in the account is no longer evident. Be careful not to jump to this conclusion too quickly, however.  Relationships take time to build.  Until you are at a point in your relationship with your potential referral partner where you can ask "what is it going to take to get a referral", you're not ready to take them off your list.  If you have asked your needs assessment questions, presented you and your agency as the logical solution to meet the referral partner's needs, and you still aren't seeing the referrals, then it may be time to lay your cards on the table and ask "what is it going to take."  You will be surprised how often your customer will tell you exactly what it's going to take.  At that point, if you are able to deliver on what the referral partner is asking, then consider working the prospect a little longer.  Focus your efforts on what you now know to be the true need.  If you cannot deliver on what the customer is asking, then it's probably time to move on.

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