The Essential Guide to Privileging

The Essential Guide to Privileging

Mar 8, 2022
  • Author:
    Vicki Searcy
    Former VP, Consulting
    Vicki has managed several credentialing and privileging practices, led a national healthcare accreditation and compliance consulting practice, was a surveyor for the NCQA, and a former president of NAMSS.

In 1982, I started working in a hospital. I reported directly to the CEO and learning about credentialing and privileging was part of my early responsibilities – primarily because there didn’t seem to be anyone else in the organization who knew exactly what was supposed to occur and how to make it happen. Since my hospital was anticipating a Joint Commission survey within a year, making sure that someone understood the requirements was important to my CEO.

That was the beginning of my pursuit of education in this field. Unfortunately, at that time, there was a huge lack of books and other information available about credentialing and privileging. Remember – at that time, the only way to get educated was through books, and at in-person education events (seminars, state/local chapters of medical staff coordinators, etc). And there weren’t many of those types of events. Additionally, credentialing and privileging functions were just beginning to be taken seriously by healthcare organizations. Prior to that time, healthcare executives really believed that credentialing and privileging was a clerical function that could be handled by someone with good organization skills. I was fortunate to have a CEO who understood the importance of credentialing and privileging and always supported my efforts to develop expertise in this field.

Eventually, I was able to find and connect with the National Association Medical Staff Services and individuals and NAMSS leaders were wonderful about sharing information with me. I knew that a profession in healthcare was my future and that I would forever be challenged to keep up with everything that I needed to know. And forty years later, that is still true (and one of the reasons that I never got bored).

The reason that I’m writing about this is because on March 3, 2022, VerityStream initiated a Privileging 101 series of webinars. There are five 90-minute sessions and at the time I wrote this article, there were almost 2,000 (!!) registrants for the first session. That shows the level of interest in this subject – and the need for education about privileging.

I know that those of you who have signed up for this series will benefit from the knowledge brought to the participants by our speakers, Jackie Jones, CPMSM, Senior Consultant and Mendy Koscinski, MSHCA, CPHQ, CPHRM, Privilege Content Consultant. Both Jackie and Mendy have a passion for privileging. They know how important it is for our healthcare organizations to protect patients by assuring that care is provided by competent providers. And that occurs via the privileging process. That may sound easy, but those of us who do this every day know that it isn’t. And making sure that those who manage privileging programs understand privileging requirements, as well as the nuances related to privileging is critical to establishing and maintaining a rigorous privileging program. Our patients deserve nothing less.

VerityStream is proud to be able to offer privileging education – and we certainly hope that you’ll take advantage of these webinars. There is no fee involved – and you will receive NAMSS CEUs – so please join us as together we assure that those who manage privileging programs have the education and resources that they need. Note – these webinars are recorded, so if you missed one, you can access the recording.