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

One of the great things about my job is that I meet a lot of medical services professionals from around the country. As a former MSP myself, I love that I get to continue to network with members of this wonderful community. And because the best conversations are two-way, a recurring question I get is: “In this time of decreasing resources in the healthcare field, how do we respond to requests from administration to more quickly onboard providers without sidestepping the credentialing standards that ensure that only qualified applicants are granted privileges?”

I’ve got 8 great answers to that question—they come straight out of our new whitepaper: Successful Credentialing: 8 Ways to Enhance Your Credentialing Processes. Here are just a few:

1. Know your foundational documents and then follow them.

If you don’t follow your own credentialing bylaws, rules and regulations and policies, your hospital may be liable in negligent credentialing lawsuits. Make no exceptions – even for so called superstar doctors.

2. Stay abreast of the ever-changing credentialing field and spread the word!

Build your credentialing team. Excellence is infectious! Share your passion for knowledge and continuous process improvement. Provide learning opportunities as well as ways to meet to share “outside the box” thinking. A great resource for learning opportunities: National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) courses and webinars.

3. Didn’t get the results you needed regarding that applicant? Follow up!

Work in tandem with your medical staff leaders to ensure that you are able to pass on a complete application for review by your credentialing committee and governing body.

4. Hear those alarm bells ringing? Pay attention to them.

You should be concerned – and make further inquiries – if you see red flags such as:
– Inconsistencies or discrepancies between the application and the verification documentation
– Failure to list on the application every state in which licensure was held
– No response to a reference request
(Read the whitepaper for an extensive list of red flags.)

5. Don’t wait…automate!

Are you trying to “do more with less”? Are you continuing to experience credentialing delays (e.g. waiting on peer references to respond)? AUTOMATION is the answer! Across the industry, the average time it takes to receive completed peer referencing feedback and hospital affiliation verifications is 4-5 weeks. Investigate online solutions that speed up the overall credentialing process to days instead of weeks! The payoff: You get those excellent practitioners on board faster without sacrificing your team’s adherence to credentialing standards.

Read the complete whitepaper, Successful Credentialing: 8 Ways to Enhance Your Credentialing Processes, to get the full scoop on ways to improve credentialing. And check out SkillSurvey Credential OnDemandTM to find out how to streamline your peer referencing and hospital affiliation processes.

Linda Van Winkle is Director of Product Management at SkillSurvey. Prior to SkillSurvey Linda was Manager of Medical Staff Services at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Ms. Van Winkle developed a credentials verification organization, CHRISTUS Credentials Plus that achieved CVO certification status by the NCQA. She achieved CPMSM and CPCS certification and is a member of the National Association of Medical Staff Services.

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