At the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) 40th Educational Conference and Exhibition, this past September, SkillSurvey hosted a luncheon and panel discussion. The panel consisted of SkillSurvey credentialing consultant, Linda Van Winkle, Patty Camp of St. Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, MO and Coreen Morgan of BayCare Health System in Clearwater, FL, who have both deployed SkillSurvey’s Credential OnDemand. The discussion focused on challenges in the credentialing field today, ways to successfully overcome those challenges, and the tools available to help along the way. This blog shares highlights from that panel discussion.
Today, more and more credentialing offices have a desire to go paperless and conduct verifications online. It is a common misconception that medical staff professionals are truly leveraging the cutting-edge technology that is available to them.
This is because automation is often mistaken for technology. “I think there is a difference between automation and using the latest technology,” says Linda Van Winkle, a 30-year medical staff professional who developed and directed a NCQA certified CVO based in Louisiana. Van Winkle believes that automation is no longer an option, but a requirement. “We all know you have to automate your processes,” she states. “In a busy medical staff office, we are being asked to do more with less all the time.”
Organizations automate by moving away from paper-based processes, for example, by utilizing a credentialing database to store applicant information and run queries. Automation can help to make credentialing more manageable, but there is still room to enhance productivity and how the process itself is conducted.
Van Winkle explains, “An example of automation is that you’re able to generate a reappointment application, fill in all the information for that applicant, and send it out to the applicant [for review] – that is automation.” With new digital technology however, “when that applicant fills out their reappointment application online and you can see, in real-time, what they’re entering. Red flags can pop up to show you if there is a problem and you don’t have to wait on that paper application to come back. When the application comes back it’s complete because the applicant is not able to sign off on it until they’ve signed and everything is there – that is the difference with new technology.”
Embracing new technologies allows you to begin turning a traditionally reactive process into a proactive one. Medical staff services have traditionally waited weeks to receive applications or peer reference responses only to find that these critical documents were returned incomplete, unsigned, or illegible. Now, healthcare organizations are proactively preventing credentialing delays with dynamic user interfaces that make information available online as it is provided by an applicant; allow responders to provide immediate feedback from any mobile device; and trigger credentialing actions, like sending requests, reminders, and identifying red flags, automatically. With advancements like these, credentialing teams’ focus returns to what is important – ensuring the practitioners who are granted privileges are truly qualified and fit to do the job they were hired for.
Healthcare organizations must seek to bring a commonly archaic credentialing process into the digital age and automation may not be enough. The only way to be successful in this effort is to take advantage of the innovative technology that brings benefits to all users and welcome the idea that it will fundamentally change the way you credential!
Want to learn more? Download SkillSurvey’s whitepaper, Cloud-based Credentialing: Next-Gen Solution for Today’s Healthcare Industry Challenges.