Bust Through Barriers to Paperless Privileging with 3 Key Benefits!

Bust Through Barriers to Paperless Privileging with 3 Key Benefits!

Jun 25, 2019
  • Author:
    Kay Lynn Akers, CPCS
    Former VerityStream Employee
    With over 30 years of health care experience, Kay Lynn Akers brings direct insights into the challenges of the evolving industry. During her tenure at VerityStream, she has provided clients with consulting and services to assist in deploying new solutions, identifying process improvements using solution best practices and designing solutions to meet the needs of organizations across the industry. Her healthcare contact center and care provider background establishes her record of shaping solutions for clients with projects ranging from optimizing processes and software for maximum efficiency and service to supporting large consolidations.

A consistent theme VerityStream consultants hear when meeting with healthcare leaders across the country is the need to have provider-friendly tools for the privileging process. At the same time, last year’s Annual Report on Medical Staff Credentialing shows that just 21% of respondents had fully implemented a paperless process for delineation and tracking of clinical privileges.

Why is the number so low given the desire for provider-friendly tools? It is probably a result of these four common challenges when implementing any paperless process.

  • Technology: The solution being used doesn’t have the capability to support paperless privileging
  • Budget Constraints: The organization hasn’t prioritized licensing paperless privileging products over competing priorities
  • Leadership Support: Leaders (whether Medical Staff and/or executive team) are resistant to change or have a lack of vision
  • Resource Constraints: There isn’t enough staff to work on implementation projects

It’s imperative to tackle these barriers with communication about key benefits of paperless privileging processes which include:

Provider Satisfaction

Providers want to complete all application and privileging tasks in one place. Having the ability to request privileges online during the application process is much easier than having to complete a paper form for each facility where privileges are requested and mailing it back. Chairs and other reviewers can assess the request and packet online at their convenience instead of having to go to an office during standard business hours.

Quicker Onboarding

By eliminating time in transit, completed privilege requests and approvals are immediately available to the credentialing staff to process and move to the next step.


Organizations realize savings in many areas with paperless processes including privileging. A few of these are office supplies (paper, ink, and postage), infrastructure (no longer need to have rooms of filing cabins storing credentialing files) and staff time spent printing and mailing forms as well as compiling, tracking and transporting paper files.

The good news is that many healthcare organizations are overcoming these barriers and moving forward with a paperless privileging process. In the same credentialing survey mentioned earlier, 95% of the respondents indicated process improvement is extremely or very important. Additionally over 57% have partially or fully implemented paperless privileging processes. Where is your organization in the paperless privileging initiative?