Automate Provider References to Close The Credentialing Loop Faster

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

HealthStream regularly publishes guest blog posts like the one below from VerityStream.

If you were to ask employees in a medical staff office about the most common obstacle for completing a credentialing file, the answer would likely be obtaining professional references. Obtaining professional references often is the most labor-intensive and time-consuming step in this process.

Professional references are a key component of the credentialing effort—they offer peers an opportunity to attest to the current clinical competency of any provider assuming an initial appointment, and or at a time of reappointment if new clinical privileges are requested.

Joint Commission standards require a professional reference to address these six separate competencies:

  • Medical/Clinical Knowledge
  • Technical and Clinical Skills
  • Clinical Judgment
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Communications Skills

Professional references often include reference letter(s), written documentation, or documented phone conversation(s) about the applicant from a peer (provider in the same professional discipline as the applicant) who has personal knowledge of the applicant.

Can You Picture This Credentialing Scenario?

A busy cardiologist who has an office practice, sees patients at multiple hospitals, and performs procedures in an ambulatory surgery center, receives a request from a hospital medical staff office to complete a peer reference questionnaire on an applicant. He or she may also be receiving requests about this applicant from other hospitals and healthcare organizations to which the applicant is applying. If the peer knows the applicant well, he or she may take 10 minutes and fill out the questionnaire as soon as it is received. If the request came by e-mail, the office staff will first need to print the questionnaire so the provider can fill it out. Getting the information back to the requesting party is very dependent on that busy doctor and his or her staff.

More commonly, reference requests sit on the peer reference’s desk, fax machine, or e-mail inbox, and will require a second request (which just adds to the stack of reference requests the peer receives) or a follow-up phone call from the credentialing

How Can You Speed Up This Often Frustrating Reference Process?

A reference verification survey is a time-saving tool to electronically verify professional references. Email notifications are sent to references who can complete the survey at their convenience. Responses are immediately stored securely in the provider record and a verification register is created.

Decrease your professional reference verification turnaround time up to 80% for provider surveys with CredentialStream. With CredentialStream you can:

  • Conduct references online for faster turnaround white automating follow-up tasks.
  • Activate surveys in a few days with our pre-built content.
  • Store professional reference data directly to your credentialing files – no printing, scanning, importing, or manual data entry required.

Providing a more “user friendly” method for peer references to respond makes it more likely that the peer reference will respond in a timelier manner and allow your medical staff office to speed up the credentialing process, lessening the chances of repeated follow-ups.