#2 Uptake rate - a deeper understanding

by Stuart Stokes on January 25, 2017

This is the second post in our three part series that helps to unpack referral, uptake and completion rates. The uptake rate is a useful metric and is often included in Commissioner's key performance indicators.

Uptake rate

Once the referral rate has been analysed the next important metric to focus on is uptake. Put simply this is the number of people that commenced your service or intervention. Uptake can mean different things to different services, for example it may be the attendance at a single one-to-one meeting or gym induction. Uptake is often linked to attendance and therefore being able to track attendance is key.

At ReferAll we often say that the uptake rate is linked to quality and the referral rate is linked to quantity.

Factors affecting uptake

There are numerous factors that can affect uptake. In the following list we show some of the key things we have analysed from over 120,000 referrals:

  • Information about your service - if the person making the referral doesn't provide information about your service, then expect uptake rates to dip.
  • Long waiting lists - when someone is referred, they expect an expedient service. If you have a waiting list, provide other methods of engaging your referrals before a space within your service becomes available.
  • No communication - if you are struggling as a service to make contact with referrals to inform them about your service then this can lower uptake rates. Where possible aim to automate this initial communication.
  • Misinformation - Linked with a previous point if referrers or your service relay the wrong information this can lower uptake and have a negative impact on the experience of your service.

Doing more with Uptake Rates

In our previous post on referral rates we looked at analysing data to determine how different organisations or people can have an impact on referral rate. Uptake rate is sensitive to those same parameters. It might be that Dr. No is your top referrer (their referral rate is high) but your service data shows that for every 10 people Dr. No refers only one commences (10% uptake rate). Quantity is good but quality is better. Remember, high referral rates can lead to long waiting lists and slower than expected service standards so getting a grip on your uptake rate is extremely important.

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Topics: Referral Schemes