What you will learn from relationship mapping?

Everyone works the “middle” in the hospital. Those case managers, social workers and discharge planners. There are a number of other people in the hospital who are critical to referral development. They may never directly refer but have a tremendous influence on what hospice(s) gets a preferred status. Learning how to relate to these people on value will help pave the way to the referral promise land. But first you need to understand what relationships you have in place with these people. I call it “relationship mapping.” Below is a basic grid you can use to complete this process and instructions how to use it.

What is Relationship Mapping: The Relationship Mapping Grid is a tool to identify and measure key relationships for specific referral sources within the hospital. The hospital is a “mini” city and the ability to successfully vertical integrate will be dependent upon our ability to develop relationship equity in each key area in the hospital. This process starts by first understanding the current “relationship equity” in place with each person.

The Grid identifies the influencers and decision-makers for referrals (both direct and indirect) to your hospice. This includes both during the week and after-hours/weekends and assesses each individual’s support of your hospice.

There are many hospital “Customers” and the table below outlines those people.

Following are the steps to follow to complete Relationship Mapping in your hospital account.

In the lobby of most hospitals is a picture board of the key medical staff and if it is a community based hospital, the Board of Directors. Take your camera phone and snap a few photos of these people. List these people out in your Relationship Mapping Grid by name.

  • Complete a Relationship Mapping form on each one of the Hospital Customer listed below. The Marketing and/or Clinical Liaison does the actual work.
  • Once the Relationship Mapping form is full with names, you go about providing a relationship score to each person. The Grid and Instructions below outlines how to do that.
  • Integrate this work into your Customer Relations Management (CRM) tool if you have one.
  • Then the fun starts as you look at your Relationship Mapping results and have an ongoing dialogue on how to maximize your relationships scores using all the resources in your organization. Have fun with this!! I will write further post on some specific tactics to consider.

Relationship Mapping
Period Completed:
Completed by Whom:

Below is a Relationship Mapping Grid. This grid reflects those individuals in your hospital, i.e. Board Members, Hospitalist, Social Workers, Case Managers, who drive referrals. The Grid in intended to do several things.

  • Develop a complete list (off-shift, weekend, PT) of all people that can influence a referral.
  • Provides a qualitative assessment of the person’s support and willing to use Seasons.
  • Help us further develop a relationship management plan for each person of interest in your hospital.


  1. As a team (marketing person, clinical liaison, etc.) please complete a comprehensive list of all those people who work in the hospital that drive and influence referrals. Please make sure this includes all week-end, off-shift and Part Time staff. See Hospital Customers below.
  2. Then together as a Team, rate the person’s relationship strengthen as it relates to their support and use of your hospice (referrals, collegial interaction, opportunity/willingness to use your hospice, etc.) Here is the metric to use. 1 means this person is a NOT a strong user and is very loyal to another hospice and will not even consider Seasons. To a 10 which means this person is a VERY strong referral source to Seasons and has a positive believe and feeling about our organization.

Please assign either a 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10 Relationship Strengthen score.
In the notes/comments column, please indicate any special areas of interest with each person that impacts our relationship with them.

Name and position Rel. Score Notes/Comments

Hospital Customers

CEO Marketing/public relations 
CFO Community outreach department 
CNO Dietician 
CMO Business office 
Hospitalists Medical ethicist 
Case Managers Ambulatory services 
Director of Case Manager Palliative care services 
Utilization Review Physician resident services 
Discharge Planners Quality assurance/process improvement 
Social Workers Medical staff secretary 
Clinical Unit Supervisors Volunteers 
ICU Clinical Manager Pharmacy Director 
ICU Medical Director Managed Care Director 
Other Specialty Medical Directors Director of Support Services 
Emergency Medical Director Education Coordinator 
Chaplains/spiritual care  Others

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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