What to consider for credential management

Posted by Tim Teague on 4/20/18 11:30 AM

Topics: Health Care Staffing

Doctor’s offices to hospitals and beyond must ensure that their medical staff have the proper, verified credentials to practice.
Doctor’s offices to hospitals and beyond must ensure that their medical staff have the proper, verified credentials to practice.

The health care industry has several mechanisms in place for ensuring high quality of care. Many of these revolve around the education and training of their staff members, particularly for those who deliver hands-on care to patients.

This makes credential management incredibly imperative for every health care organization - doctor's offices to hospitals and beyond must ensure that their medical staff have the proper, verified credentials to practice.

Putting a process in place 

As Becker's Hospital Review contributor and Chief Credential oOfficer Sally Pelletier noted, one of the first and most critical steps of credential management is to create a robust process to support it. This includes vetting incoming physicians and medical staff members, as well as ensuring that each employee is assigned specific privileges. What's more, this process should be reviewed and re-evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that any new standards or rules are observed and integrated into credential management activities.

A robust system of this kind doesn't just support your health care organization, but ensures a higher quality of care for patients.

"The more streamlined your processes are, the sooner you'll have the appropriate physicians caring for patients whose conditions fall within their specialties," Pelletier wrote.

Woman wearing blue scrubs and stethoscope, with other health care workers standing behind her in the background. Health care administrators must keep a close eye on the credentials and privileges of their staff members.

Ensuring a schedule

It's also important to guarantee that credential verification takes place according to a specific schedule. As ruled by the Joint Commission, health care organizations must verify credentials every two years, or every three years if the institution is located in Illinois.

This adds another step to the credential management process - once a practitioner is hired and brought on board, it's up to administrators and other stakeholders to ensure that their qualifications, education and licenses are verified according to this two-year schedule.

Consider staff member specialties

It's also crucial to keep in mind that credential management may vary from employee to employee, particularly those that have unique specialties. In addition to core credentials, the credentials

"Credential verification must take place according to a specific schedule."

associated with these specialties must be vetted, reviewed and verified as part of the credential management process as well.

How to support streamlined credential management

There are a few different strategies that organizations use today to support their credential management, but some processes are decidedly better than others.

Some smaller groups simply use digital spreadsheets to lay out staff member credentials and schedules. While this approach may be sufficient for small offices with only a few staff members, it can still open the organization to risk and missteps in management.

There is also the option to outsource this function to a third party - but this can quickly get considerably expensive.

The third and most efficient option is to utilize robust software that can support credential management specifically. In this way, the entire process is streamlined, and managers can keep track of the necessary documentation and scheduling that comes as part of the credential management process.

BlueSky Medical Staffing Software VMS can provide just these capabilities, enabling administrators to better supervise and manage their staff and credentialing processes. To find out more, connect with us for a demo today

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