Getting the Most Out of Your Provider Credentialing Software Investment
The healthcare industry is in the midst of massive transformations. Mergers, acquisitions, increasing government regulations and a changing reimbursement landscape necessitate hospitals to find new ways to contain costs, increase their efficiency and improve patient safety.
Data management vendors have done a tremendous job at responding to the evolving priorities of their customers by expanding the capabilities of their provider credentialing platforms. With the complexity of the environment increasing, hospital CIOs are becoming more aware of the need to make the best possible provider credentialing investment decision. Hospitals impacted by acquisitions are particularly interested in identifying vendors that can help streamline their credentialing processes and assist with systemwide workflow and staff integration.
Evaluating software solutions
Modern credentialing platforms can bring great value to your organization. Choosing the software that best meets your needs can be a bit intimidating. According to Porter Research, hospital CIOs should familiarize themselves with the intricacies of the data management landscape to understand the pros and cons of switching to a more advanced solution. To help you make the best possible purchasing decision, consider the following:
Assess the needs of your organization
Become crystal clear on what’s important to your organization. Take a look at your current systems in place and note the features and functions that you are satisfied with, as well as those that you would like to see improved. Write down, in order of priority, all the areas where you see the most significant opportunity for improvement. Rate your satisfaction in all the different areas such as provider credentialing, licensing, privileging and more.
Ability to customize software features and functions
Does the software allow for customization? This is a critical factor to consider, as the “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work when it comes to data management solutions. The ability to customize a platform is essential, as the needs of your organization may be vastly different than those of another. For example, smaller institutions, or stand-alone hospitals have different requirements than a system that includes multiple hospitals and clinics. This size difference is likely to command platforms with different features. Choose software that’s scalable, built with the capability to accommodate healthcare organizations of varying sizes and complexity and one that gives you the ability to tailor to your unique needs.
Defining success for internal use
Does the software deliver on what it’s promising? This question, by far, is one of the most important ones you want to be able to answer with a clear yes. To get the most out of your provider credentialing investment, figure out how you will measure success for internal use. Make sure there is a way to test the platform before going live to avoid any possible data loss. During this test phase, the vendor should provide adequate support and work closely with you and your team to iron out any potential glitches and make the migration process as smooth as possible.
Tips to onboard your new software successfully
Successful onboarding is critical from an operational standpoint. Modern data management programs can be an invaluable tool to help you increase efficiency within your organization. Features alone, however, are no guarantee of success. You need all members of your staff who will be utilizing the platform to be trained in using the system. To maximize the various functions of today’s credentialing software solutions, work with your vendor to ensure that everyone affected acquires a working knowledge of how to navigate your platform before going live. This mastery can only be achieved by a thorough training program that is insightful and not confusing.
Communication is crucial between the vendor and the various departments of the organization. The Medical Staff Services Department will likely not be the only one utilizing the credentialing software. For example, bringing new physicians on board is a collaborative effort between multiple departments. The Physician Recruiting Department invites the physicians to join and takes care of the hiring process, while the Medical Staff Services Department is typically in charge of credentialing. To facilitate the onboarding process, the recruiting staff may be given access to view some of the data and therefore need working knowledge of the new system.
Setting goals for the use of your software
One of the challenges CIOs face when purchasing a provider credentialing software is to find ways to ensure the highest possible ROI on their investments. There are several steps you can take to set the stage for success. Begin by creating a goal timeline for the entire process with clearly defined goals and deadlines. Tie these goals to the bigger picture and your main objective. For example, the most common driving force behind acquiring a new system is to streamline provider credentialing and improve efficiency. Break down how you will achieve this by writing down the steps with specific deadlines attached:
- Set a target date for the contract signing
- Set target goals for system roll-out (meeting schedule with the vendor, data migration schedule, etc.)
- Set a target date for going live
- Set a training schedule
- Set goals to monitor utilization after full implementation
Provider data management software solutions deliver excellent value, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Flexibility and customization add additional power to meet your organization’s unique needs. Learn more about how our industry-leader solutions can help achieve your provider credentialing goals.
About Jan Laws
Jan Laws is a member of the Product Management team at symplr. She holds both CPMSM and CPCS certification distinctions through NAMSS. Prior to joining CACTUS/symplr, Jan served for more than 20 years in the Medical Staff Services field. Her experience includes roles in centralized verification organizations’ operations, medical staff management in both system and single hospital organizations, and provider credentialing. Jan eagerly shares her expertise through learning experiences that enhance the positive collaboration between symplr teams and our clients. In addition to her expertise in medical staff services, Jan is a licensed professional counselor who operates a successful private practice.