By Joe Morris, Writer, HealthStream
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic meant sudden, dramatic change throughout the world of healthcare. From properly equipping personnel for front-line patient care to conducting back-office business in a virtual setting, every day brought new challenges.
That has certainly been true in credentialing and privileging arena, where virtual processes have met the need, and relaxed governmental regulations have also allowed for workarounds in emergency situations, says Angela Beardsley, BSBS-IT, CPMSM, CPCS, Consultant, Consulting Services at VerityStream. Here are some suggestions for improving your credentialing under current circumstances.
Advanced review of the credential’s file is another critical component to the success of a virtual credentials committee meeting. Preparation for credentials meetings can be done at a time more convenient for the physicians, as file review can be completed electronically, at their own pace in advance of a scheduled meeting.
“You can assign files to specific committee members in advance of the meeting,” notes Kurtz. “If you do that, make sure that you communicate the expectation for the reviewer to speak to their assessment of the file during the meeting. Alternatively, you can allow all community members to have access to review the files. If all are reviewing the files this may look more like an opportunity to bring up any concerns.”
Some file-distribution options for the credentialing packet include:
It’ll also be key to make sure reviewers have proper device access and training so that they can view and engage with the materials.
All the above activity sets the stage for virtual committee meetings. There are several routes to go when setting these up:
“Once you've determined which type of virtual meeting is best for you, then the next step in preparing for a virtual committee meeting is to set expectations ahead of the meeting,” Beardsley says.
Ensure ahead of time that all participants will be adhering to confidentiality expectations.
There are many other issues to consider, such as getting signatures, and there are virtual and electronic options available for those. As with the above, the key is to be prepared so that all activities around credentialing can be conducted as swiftly and efficiently in a remote setting as they would be in a live one.
Consider this an opportunity to convert the usual daily process from paper to electronic. If not using credentialing software solution that's electronic, this is a good time to explore those options. And start considering any policies or bylaws that need to be revised to allow for the full electronic process from start to finish.
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