Shared Services For Healthcare Organizations Blog Feature
Matt Thomas

By: Matt Thomas on January 13th, 2015

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Shared Services For Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare Provider Credentialing

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.

The Benefits of Shared Services in Healthcare Organizations

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.

Shared Services, Credentialing, PrivillegingMedical Staff Services Benefits of Shares Services 

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 of Shared Services

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!

Facilities Benefiting from Shared Services

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.  

Shared Services Provides Shared Benefits

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.

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About Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas is a Product Manager at symplr in Overland Park, Kansas. Matt has been part of the symplr/Cactus team for over 10 years in roles ranging from training, implementation and technical consulting to business analysis and Cactus product management. Matt works with both clients and symplr development and operations departments to ensure the vision of the Cactus interface applications, web applications, peer review, quality, and event reporting products meets our clients’ needs.