The Need for Speed
The pressure to expedite credentialing is something Karen Dumas knows something about. As associate director of medical staff services at Yale New Haven Health, she’s responsible for the credentialing process across a system of five hospitals with 6,200 medical and affiliated medical staff. “There’s always pressure to get things done faster and more efficiently,” Dumas said.
When she started, the credentialing process was largely paper-based, with prospective staff members filling out applications by hand “often with illegible handwriting,” Dumas recalls. Bringing the application process online helped, but peer references were still a sticking point. “We required a letter from each reference, along with their responses to a 3-page questionnaire.”
Credentialing Specialists needed to customize a Word document for each applicant, and then fax, email, or, if they had no other option, mail the document to each reference.
Another challenge? Each of the system’s hospitals had a different reference request form and format. The SkillSurvey digital peer reference process allowed Yale New Haven Health to design a single form that could be used and accessed electronically across all five hospitals. This allowed the team to work much more efficiently and align their practices.
“There’s always pressure to get things done faster and more efficiently. Before we started automating peer references, this was the most challenging aspect of the application process for us and the reference writers to complete.”Karen Dumas
“Our first look at SkillSurvey Credential OnDemand® was at a conference my director attended,” Dumas said. During a subsequent demonstration, the Medical Staff Administration staff didn’t need much convincing to give it a try. “The simplicity of it was great,” Dumas said. Because it was fully online and optimized for mobile devices, references didn’t have to be at their desks to respond. “They could complete a reference on their phone or their tablet—basically from anywhere,” Dumas said. “As soon as it’s submitted the Credentialing Specialist processing the application is notified. That was a huge improvement for us.”
Today, 24 Medical Staff Administration staff are using SkillSurvey Credential OnDemand to manage peer references. “Everyone likes using it,” said Daria Jones, a Credentialing Specialist for the Yale New Haven Health. The team processed references for more than 1,100 applicants or current medical staff since implementing the solution in March, 2017. “It’s really made our job 100 percent easier. It’s much simpler now to stay organized. We get an immediate error message for bad emails as well as other alerts, which saves a lot of time. And we can see when a reference opens a link or takes an action. That’s proven useful in ways we had never anticipated,” Jones said.
“It’s really made our job 100 percent easier.”Daria Jones
Game Changing Technology
Productivity has improved as well. “Before we started automating peer references it took a lot longer to get these out and get them back and we would not know immediately if a reference was not received ,” said Dumas. Now, her team works smarter and faster, and has even collected all of the references for a candidate in a single day. “That was a monumental feat,” said Dumas. Most surprising was the reaction of the reference writers themselves. “Most folks view us as an obstacle to becoming appointed because they don’t fully understand that we must adhere to certain regulatory guidelines. So when we hear, ‘that was easy,’ it make us very happy. .”
In just one year, the Medical Staff Administration at Yale New Haven Health System appointed 723 new medical staff, using SkillSurvey’s Credential OnDemand to complete its peer references efficiently and accurately.
“Would I recommend SkillSurvey’s Credential OnDemand to other hospitals? Absolutely. It’s really made our lives much easier,” says Dumas.
“Would I recommend SkillSurvey’s Credential OnDemand to other hospitals? Absolutely. It’s really made our lives much easier.”Karen Dumas
About Yale New Haven Health
Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) is Connecticut’s leading healthcare system, consisting of Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Yale New Haven and Westerly hospitals, and Northeast Medical Group, a physician foundation of primary care and medical specialists.