How to Make Meaningful Changes from Medical Staff Credentialing Survey Reports

How to Make Meaningful Changes from Medical Staff Credentialing Survey Reports

Jun 30, 2022
  • Author:
    Lisa Rothmuller, CPCS
    AVP, Clinical Solutions and CVO Services
    Lisa works with clients and organizations to provide Strategic Account Management and best practice and solution consulting. Lisa has a bachelor's degree in Economics/Finance from Bentley University in Boston, Massachusetts and currently resides in San Diego.

The Annual Medical Staff Credentialing report, and associated webinar, was presented at the end of May with insights, analysis and key information on the state of the Medical Staff Credentialing industry. The report and webinar, is one of the many ways which Vicki Searcy contributed to the industry with her strong knowledge and approach, as is the Consulting Connection. We look forward to continuing both in meaningful ways that provide the industry with information and knowledge.

With the Medical Staff Survey, we look at the results each year to see trends, changes, and insight into the profession. When we receive the initial report and analysis, we pull the previous year's reports out, make many notes, read and re-read and collaborate to ensure the information we present is where the trends have been going or where there is new insights. This year was no different with the Medical Staff Services report. Technology has influenced and helped progress Medical Staff Services with the ability of many organizations to do more with less. Organizations are starting to use data derived from their systems to drive business decisions, influence processes and feed many other systems within organizations. There has been and continues to be a trend across the industry to use the information housed in platforms or using external tools to show organizational leadership why medical staffs need more staff and why it takes the time it does to credential and enroll. This data is also used to measure the impact of changes on resources and timeframes. Data has long been used across healthcare to measure and now we see this really starting to take shape in Medical Staff Services.

The analysis of data can help provide measurable information on the value of certain business processes organizations may be doing. For example, if an organization is completing affiliation verifications for providers from the time they completed training it is worth asking the question of the value of this practice. For a provider who has been in practice for many years going back that far should be analyzed for value. Are organizations receiving verification information from older affiliations that change a decision in the process? Most organization in the survey go back no more than ten years with it fairly well split between less than 5 years or 6-10 years. This is just one example how using data, organizations can look at their processes and make informed process changes decisions.

The use of data to make and influence decisions relies on quality data. I've been working in this industry for 25 years and when I started organizations were using paper, spreadsheets with limited using software. Data standards were available but with paper based or various spreadsheets it was limited in the value and ability to harness the data. Recently I found a presentation we did a decade ago that was titled "Garbage In, Garbage Out". As the title suggests, the presentation was all about data standardization within the Medical Staff Credentialing systems encouraging organizations to setup standards and make sure they are adhered to. The survey results showed that more than 80% have implemented or are in the process of implementing a single provider database as a source of truth. This is a big step in the ability to use data for decisions and processes. Many organizations have standards when it comes to entering information, tracking what, where and how data is stored. When data standards are not in place nor adhered to it makes using data for decision making difficult. For many ensuring they have good, valuable data is an ongoing process that requires consistent attention. We see in the survey about 33% who have a dedicated role within their teams for data analytics and management. We anticipate this will grow support to support the systems being the source of truth for provider data and ensuring that we don't go back to times when we had garbage in and therefore garbage out.

Technology will continue to change at a rapid pace and help support Medical Staff Services with information to make quality decisions, whether on an applicant, business processes or resources. Embrace the data as one of the tools to support the department and the critical work being done.