Nothing will close a Medical Staff Services (MSS) department down faster than privilege requests that are behind the approval process. Managing a privileging process using paper reminders and copies of documents (that may or may not be current) is burdensome on medical staff.
Because privileging and its documentation can be so easily inefficient, it can negatively impact the timeliness of hospital committee reviews and OR scheduling which potentially affects the quality of patient care.
Most hospitals put off an annual review of their privilege forms because it is very time consuming, so it is not unusual to review privilege forms every three to five years which may be in direct conflict with the hospital bylaws.
Technology today makes it possible to handle privileging documentation efficiently using software designed for the job. Software that includes a library of privileging documentation that is industry-recognized saves time and reduces the high cost of labor in the MSS.
With a software solution populated with privilege content to manage the privileging process, healthcare organizations will benefit from increased productivity; this reduces the content research time and creates an error-free privileging process environment. Staffing needs may be reduced or reallocated as well.
Real time data will assure that privileging is conducted using current (not out of date) documentation and allows the OR or anyone with administrative authority to view a provider's current privileges and immediately note any special conditions such as proctoring, supervision or restrictions.
Consistent privileging descriptions across all specialties will further serve to eliminate confusion. And, with the right software solution, all the documentation necessary is available within the software.
Annual reviews will be quick and seamless because the privileging forms have already gone through an extensive process of review and updating to ensure compliance. Hospital and physician leaders can feel confident in the documentation provided. Nothing is left to chance.
“Consistent and Efficient” is the name of the game when it comes to privileging.
Julie Costa-Bickmore, CPCS is symplr’s credentialing / privileging consultant, with more than 25 years’ experience working as a consultant with medical staff office, administration, and physician leadership teams in hospitals and other healthcare facilities nationwide. She developed the privileges and threshold criteria content for the symplr privileging database. Her primary focus area is the development of core privileges and threshold criteria for special procedures, as well as the quality of the credentialing process.