Guest blog post by Linda Van Winkle, Director of Product Management at SkillSurvey

We’re presenting a webinar series on credentialing hosted by Donna Goestenkors, CPMSM, founder and president of Team Med Global Consulting, LLC. It’s called “Why Simple Credentialing is Smart: The Benefits of a Well Designed System.” Linda Van Winkle, a former Medical Staff Services Professional for 30+ years, joined Donna as a co-presenter March, 2016, for “Part 4: Expedite your Verifications.” This session offered recommendations for Medical Staff Services Professionals (MSP) on how to accelerate verifications without sacrificing quality. In this post, Linda highlights key points of the session.

In this webinar, Donna Goestenkors and I reviewed the 25 elements comprising the credentials verification portion of the initial application process.

When processing an application for initial appointment and clinical privileges, the “rule of thumb” is to verify everything the applicant submits either on or with the application form.

There are elements that must be verified via specified methods and there are others for which you may use your discretion as to the verification method.

The objective of the webinar was to share one-click short-cut tips for streamlining and simplifying the credentials verification process for new applicants, while at the same time ensuring the gathering of all pertinent credentialing information in order to provide the medical staff organization and governing body with a complete report of the applicant’s education, training, experience, judgment, behavior, and current competence.

Here are some key ways to expedite your process:

Automate the process.

  • Consider an online application that automatically flags issues of concern and ensures legibility and completeness of the application.
  • Utilize approved online verification sources in lieu of writing to schools, training programs, and certifying boards directly. There may be a fee for these sources; however, consider the savings to you and your team in terms of time and effort. Examples: AMA Profile Service; National Student Clearinghouse; Federation of State Medical Boards; ABMS CertiFACTS Service; National Practitioner Data Bank.
  • Combine required elements when possible. For example, design your peer reference questionnaire so that it brings your organization into compliance with your accrediting body’s credentialing requirements:
        – Determination of current clinical competence with peers familiar with applicant over the past 12 to 24 months
        – Validation of health status/ability to perform requested privileges
        – Incorporate a rating grid of the 6 General Competencies
        – Have the peer reference both review and make a recommendation concerning the specific requested privileges by including a copy of the delineation of privileges with the peer reference questionnaire
  • Enroll your practitioners in the NPDB’s Continuous Query Service in order to automatically receive real-time information via email regarding professional liability claims, adverse licensure actions, sanctions, and adverse clinical privilege decisions.
  • Utilize online methods for verifying hospital affiliations. Many hospitals now provide verification of affiliation via a link to a website. Another online resource is NAMSS PASS. Consider a credentialing program that provides an online affiliation verification solution. All of these methods provide rapid turnaround for your verifications, as they do not require paper to be filled out and faxed back to you.
  • Utilize online peer referencing. Consider a credentialing program that permits you with one click of the mouse to send out all peer reference questionnaires via email simultaneously. The peer reference responds online via PC, tablet, or smart phone, eliminating the lengthy process of filling out a paper form and then having to get that form back to you via fax.

Take stock of your verification methods periodically.

  • Is there duplication of effort? Are there services or sources that verify multiple elements for you?
  • Are you verifying information needlessly? Are there any steps that are unnecessary, not required, or of no value to your organization? Do you know why you’re verifying each element?
  • Are there newer, more efficient methods for obtaining the verification elements you need?
  • Beware of the “We’ve always done it this way” mindset. The credentialing industry continues to evolve. Technology advances now provide better, more efficient ways to do our jobs. Automate with one-click verifications whenever possible to leave outdated manual, paper-based methods behind.

Stay informed about the credentialing industry so you will know when verification methods change or improve.

  • Take advantage of educational offerings by NAMSS, including your state chapter.
  • Join MSP email groups, chat groups, and LinkedIn groups.
  • Participate in webinars.
  • Sign up for newsletters.

Find out how to turn credentialing obstacles into opportunities in our whitepaper, Eight Ways to Enhance Your Credentialing. Discover eight proven ways you can speed up and improve the quality of your credentialing processes. Download the whitepaper today!

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