It's all too common in healthcare credentialing today for providers to have gaps in their work history. The reasons vary wildly from mission trips to family obligations and long vacations. At the same time, those gaps can represent a serious red flag regarding an incident or event. And, although we'd love to believe everything we hear it's imperative that all gaps in work history are verified and clearly documented by the Medical Staff Professional (MSP).
If the provider stated they were on a mission trip or attending another work related function, you should verify this the same way you would any other employment verification. Contact the church, non-profit organization, or whomever and obtain an employment-like verification.
A gap in work history where the provider states they were on vacation can be verified by a professional reference. Best practice is to ensure the verifying reference has a close business relationship with the provider. Additionally, you may want to require more than one reference to ensure no stone is left unturned.
If the provider's leave is associated to some form of continuing education, contact the school or association responsible for leading the training and verify the provider's attendance or involvement. Be sure to collect specifics about the days, hours and if needed, you may consider a professional reference in addition to the education verification.
Regardless of the verification source, there are some key pieces of information you must collect to accurately document and account for the provider's whereabouts during the gap.
Date Range Verified
Reason for Gap
Name of Source Providing Verification
Relationship to Provider (specific to professional reference)
The verification should be in written format and signed by the verifying professional. To ensure all pertinent information is given, consider providing the source a form/questionnaire. Generally speaking, the source supplying the verification prefer to receive the questionnaires via email so they can complete it electronically. Additionally, allowing the reference to complete it on their own schedule may provide a quicker turn around resulting in faster onboarding – a win/win for everyone!
Melissa Outlaw is a Vice President, Customer Success with symplr. Melissa and her team assist clients in learning and implementing our provider management software - credentialing, privileging, peer review, quality and event reporting applications. She supports clients in benchmarking current internal practices, identifying potential efficiencies, then driving the integration of technology with process improvement to reduce time of service and operating expenses. She works extensively with decentralized, multi-facility organizations in transitioning to a shared service center as well as assisting healthcare organizations bridge the gap between procedures performed by a provider and their privileges granted.