When it comes to credentialing prospective medical providers, it’s no secret that peer references and initial applications are two of the biggest causes of delay. It’s not uncommon for credentialing departments to wait close to two months for reference responses and completed initial applications. With the majority of healthcare facilities experiencing delays of this magnitude, it’s become widely accepted that it can take months to credential a single provider.

In a recent credentialing efficiency survey distributed to members of the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS), we found that it may be a still rare occurrence, but a small minority of members — 6% reported it takes less than one week to receive completed peer references and 14% take one week or less to receive a completed initial application. So, we asked ourselves: ‘If some facilities are able to receive responses in under one week, why isn’t every facility able to do so?’ The answer: They are.

We’re sharing three secrets to getting critical responses back in under one week.

1. Offer an online, mobile-friendly process

Physicians and allied health professionals are always on the go. It’s incredibly difficult for medical providers to find the time to sit down and complete a lengthy paper form. So, enabling providers to quickly and easily give you the information you need is key.

Start by implementing online, mobile-enabled forms that are easy to complete and return from any device. Today, doctors rely on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to do their jobs. STAT. Cloud-based forms and applications can be conveniently completed from anywhere, at any time so you’ll get the information you need back more quickly and responders will be left wondering why it’s not always this simple.

2. Eliminate paper…entirely

Your office is paperless, that’s great! Are you providing a truly paperless experience for those outside of your office though? If you’re emailing forms and requests as attachments to applicants and the third parties responding on their behalf, your process isn’t actually paperless.

Here’s the good news, online forms aren’t only convenient and easy to complete, they’re paperless as well! Eliminate your paper trail entirely and speed the process further by offering applicants and those responding on their behalf the ability to provide immediate responses without the need to download, print, scan, upload, fax or mail anything. Better yet, include the option to sign forms electronically to get responses even faster.

3. Automate routine tasks

At any given time, credentialing specialists can be found sending initial requests, conducting follow-up, and reviewing files for red flags simultaneously. Managing multiple files and a hefty task list requires the orchestration of a lot of moving parts and the use of a lot of post-it notes! Juggling so much at once can make it easy for important things to fall through the cracks, like sending out that fourth request to an applicant’s last peer reference.

Take the onus off of the credentialing specialist and start holding your credentialing technology accountable. Employ a system that automates critical tasks like sending requests and reminders, and evaluating information for red flags, so applicant files can come together more quickly and references don’t have a chance of forgetting to return a questionnaire.

Find out more about how streamlined credentialing can improve the way you onboard privileged providers in our eBook, Five Ways Technology Drives Success in Medical Staff Onboarding. Learn new ways technology can transform your credentialing process into one of the biggest drivers of success for your healthcare organization. Download the eBook today!

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