How Medical Staff Professionals Have Used Centralization and Standardization to Improve Processes

How Medical Staff Professionals Have Used Centralization and Standardization to Improve Processes

Jun 24, 2021
  • Author:
    Noelle Abarelli

Implementing process improvements related to centralization and standardization can be a long, drawn out project. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that medical staff professionals are capable of overcoming previously impossible challenges and finding a way to get credentialing tasks done. We took a look at the last 5 years of process improvements made within the credentialing industry and what many of you have been working so hard to achieve. In our latest medical staff credentialing report, we show how incremental changes continue to move the needle towards automation and efficiency.

Process Improvement

In terms of overall satisfaction with the credentialing process, rates have been steadily increasing. In 2017, 63.6% of respondents were either very or extremely satisfied with their process, but by 2021, that rate increased to 71.9%. This clearly demonstrates how much effort Medical Staff Professionals have dedicated to putting processes in place that work and can adapt to their needs. What factors are impacting their satisfaction with the way they work? Digitization and automation.


The results below highlight how overall satisfaction rates correlate with the increased use of paperless options and automated features used in a variety of credentialing functions:



2021 2020 2019 2018 2017

Implementing an automated process for primary source verifications






Implementing an automated, paperless process for online provider application






Implementing an automated and paperless process for committee reviews and decisions







The pandemic also had a considerable impact on more organizations choosing to adopt electronic alternatives, as in many cases, there was no other alternative. This trend is helping to create a trustworthy and centralized single source of information for entire organizations.



In just 5 years, we’ve seen a 14% jump in organizations implementing a single online application for their entire organization. The rate skyrocketed from 59.5% in 2017 to 77.6% in 2021. Many multi-facility health systems have been working towards this goal over the years, but there was a 2% jump over the past year alone. Centralization has long been a big part of many organizations’ overall efforts to achieve enterprise standardization, but it became increasingly apparent how essential it is during the pandemic as healthcare providers scurried to ensure that there were enough providers available to handle a surge in patients.


Many organizations had to switch to virtual credentialing committee meetings to keep up with demand, while keeping everyone safe. And, after some months, most found that electronic meetings could be used more often, pandemic or not, to create a more efficient system while allowing all needed members to participate from wherever they may be. This wouldn’t be possible without a centralized source of data.



Our research indicates that standardization is yielding great value for Medical Staff Professionals in the area of privileging.The rate of those focused on standardizing privileging criteria, forms, and core privileges across the enterprise jumped almost 20 points from 51.6% in 2017 to 68% in 2021.Today’s Medical Staff Professionals are focused on building provider-centric processes that make it easier to request and grant privileges across a health system. As electronic applications have become more common, a single application for a whole health system with the ability to request privileges is becoming the norm.



2021 2020 2019 2018 2017

Standardizing privileging criteria, forms, and core privileges across the enterprise







The full scoop

This is but a sample of what our 2021 Annual Report on Medical Staff Credentialing uncovered. To get the full scoop, grab your copy of the report and check out our webinar covering the key findings. For now, we can say with confidence that our survey results point strongly in the direction of adopting electronic and online-based strategies for all your credentialing and privileging needs.That’s what VerityStream is all about, and it’s how you can keep up with organizations in your area and emerge as a provider of choice your patients will be loyal to. We’re here to help, so schedule a free demo today.