Can you imagine having unfettered access to all of the information housed in your credentialing software? You can! There is a well-known, technical name for this, a “web service.” What’s most important for you to know is that a web service can mine and sort data from a web-based credentialing system so your organization can use the information how and however often you choose.
A web service provides a standardized methodology of communication between two computers, not in a format we look at on our computer or a web page. A web service is always on and the devices can be in constant contact. In other words, one system communicating to another system providing more thorough information!
Although any web based application should provide you with the same, our best example is from our own experience, using data that exists within the Medkinetics platform such as provider name, contact information, status, credentials, license expirations, and CV information enable the following outputs for real-time information:
Online Provider Roster (internal) – An intranet roster may contain pertinent information for doctors, nurses and all other relevant staff including specialties, credentials, and contact information. The data is updated in the credentialing system can automatically populate all the other systems used by internal staff such as HR, Department Heads, Chiefs of Staff, Pharmacy and the OR to name a few.
Aside from a basic roster, a web service may be used as:
A method to load new providers into the hospital’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system
An on-demand pharmacy search tool to check current DEA credentials for prescribers
A way to facilitate enrollment into insurance plans
Provider Directories and online Specialist Searches (external) – Information can be extracted, sorted and delivered for consumption by a public website such as a provider directory or lookup service for potential patients. Again, this information can be integrated with other information and serve as a marketing tool for patients.
Multiple Data Inputs (mashups) - Multiple data streams from disparate sources can be combined to produce the best of both systems for display on a website. For instance, the provider information provided by the Medkinetics web service can be combined with mapping information from Google’s web service to provide not only the office location, but maps and driving directions as well. Since both services are continually updated, clients will always have access to the best, most reliable information.
With a little help from your Information Systems team, provider data stored in your credentialing software can lend itself to any number of uses beyond the scope of the credentialing alone. Combining data from several sources leverages the power of the information and increases the ROI on your software investment. In short, much of its value is in creating and compiling the data. So, why not use it to your advantage with a web service?