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Patient Care and Your Bottom Line: Digital Peer Referencing Blog Feature
Steve Heister

By: Steve Heister on October 24th, 2018

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Patient Care and Your Bottom Line: Digital Peer Referencing

Anyone who has ever been involved in securing peer references for physicians and allied health practitioners understands the time that goes into chasing these all-important peer references.

The fact of the matter is that peer references need better tools to respond to requests from your staff. In a recent study, medical staff services professionals indicated the primary delay in processing an application stems from external requests for information such as peer referencing. Even with the shift from sending documents through the mail to faxing or emailing, getting peer reference responses can still be quite a long, drawn-out process, taking weeks and sometimes months to complete. On top of that, requests that go unanswered or come back incomplete necessitate hours of time-consuming follow-up calls, faxes, and e-mails to chase down responses.

Although many of the processes within your medical staff services office are automated today, the process the peer references go through to respond is still a relatively manual, paper-and-pen process, and this is a primary reason for delay.

But there’s great news: new technologies can redefine your process. SkillSurvey’s digital peer referencing streamlines and automates this crucial step in the credentialing processes, helping skilled practitioners impact patient care faster. And SkillSurvey now integrates with symplr’s Cactus Provider Management Platform (currently in testing). It is a fully digital, paperless process that automates the peer referencing processes. Using this solution, peer reference forms are typically returned in 3 days.

This turnaround time can have a significant impact to your facilities bottom line.   

The cost of just a one-week delay in the granting of privileges to the average primary care physician can amount to over $30,000. For a hospital hiring an average of 50 primary care physicians annually, a one-week delay can cost over $1.5 million.

The other thing to take into consideration is this: How much of your staff time is being wasted chasing down peer reference information?  And how much is this time costing your department? When was the last time you tracked the overtime hours spent on following up on peer reference responses? 

SkillSurvey’s digital peer referencing can help you significantly reduce or eliminate this extra spend, while easing the burden on your staff to and, you can try it, risk free and no strings attached.

Learn more about how SkillSurvey’s digital peer reference solution integrates with Cactus from symplr.


About Steve Heister

As General Manager of Credentialing Solutions and Chief Product Officer at SkillSurvey, Steve Heister works directly with credentialing and recruiting teams to streamline their processes through enhanced user experiences, expedited time-to-credential, and improved quality-of-hire while increasing credentialing and recruiting efficiency with technology. He has worked with healthcare clients such as Baycare, Intermountain Health, and Mercy Health and brings over 18 years of experience in business management, credentialing, and talent acquisition solutions. Before SkillSurvey, Steve was with leading technology firms in North America, where he worked closely with a number of Fortune 500 firms including eBay, Kohl’s and McDonald’s.