A shared service is not a new idea, but a spreading concept in healthcare, which provides benefits across the entire organization. The theory behind a shared service is identifying those functions or departments that are repeated at multiple facilities and consolidating them into one central location. It is commonplace for Information Technology (IT) and Human Resources (HR) to be centralized, not only because of the benefits, because it is acknowledged as the most effective way to execute these areas of service.
Healthcare organizations are experiencing the benefits of this centralization, especially with the ever-increasing number of multi-facility organizations. One driving factor of this shift is the emphasis on ACOs. It is now the norm for an organization to encompass a mixture of hospitals, surgery centers, physician practices, and long-term facilities. As a result of this environment, we are also seeing a fundamental shift in how these organizations collaborate to manage the credentialing of providers.
In order to prevent redundancies across organizations, Medical Staff Services are being consolidated, too. Verifying providers' credential information in a central location has immense and immeasurable benefits, such as:
Allowing large organizations greater efficiency through volume-based processing
Leading to greater sharing of information
Higher visibility of key data and statistics
Establishing an office within healthcare that propels best practices throughout the organization
Increased provider satisfaction due to eliminating redundant processes and forms
Provider satisfaction is significantly increasing as centralized credentialing offices becomes more prevalent. Prior to the onset of centralized credentialing, a provider who worked in three facilities went through credentialing three times. This means the provider would have to review and update his or her information and provide copies of all updated information three separate times to three separate medical staff personnel.
Consolidating this work and establishing one point of contact for the provider eliminates excessive paperwork and the provider is now free to do what he or she does best - treat patients. Both the provider and organization reap the benefits!
The adoption of this centralized model does not mean that facilities are no longer supported. On the contrary, it is both common and recommended that some staff, depending on the organization size, be retained on site to help facilitate facility-specific tasks, such as privileging and quality measuring and reporting.
Organizations and providers alike enjoy the benefits of the shared services model for healthcare. The adoption of this model eliminates redundancies, ensures accuracy, and liberates providers to focus on quality of practice.
It is imperative, however, to implement and execute this method with accuracy. If you do not have staff who are experienced in large organizational change initiatives and have knowledge of diverse considerations needed to create this solution, we recommend that you look outside your organization and consider outsourcing to help oversee this effort.