No industry has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic more than healthcare. Medical staff offices are no exception, from the struggle to meet the credentialing needed to quickly allow providers from outside the organization – or even their state – to see and treat patients to privileging for telehealth and making it possible for staff to be able to work remotely.
A Pandemic Era Survey about Healthcare Credentialing
From December 2020 to January 2021, VerityStream surveyed the healthcare industry as part if its fifth annual credentialing report, which incorporates the impact of the pandemic on credentialing offices and departments across the United States. What was learned and experienced during the pandemic will forever change credentialing departments and medical staff offices. Organizations that had already implemented credentialing software that allowed for electronic processing were quickly able to transition to remote work. Other organizations had software that allowed for electronic processing, but for various reasons, hadn’t fully implemented it. The need to implement to become totally electronic became critical – and VerityStream had many requests for assistance to help implement online applications, electronic decision-making processes, etc. that allowed the work of credentialing and the medical staff organization to continue without delays. One of the lessons learned during the pandemic is that healthcare organizations can perform excellent credentialing electronically and efficiently.
Process Improvement and Provider Data Management Are Most Important Initiatives
Since 2017, VerityStream’s annual credentialing survey has focused on four big credentialing initiatives: Process Improvement, Provider Data Management, Centralization and Enterprise Standardization, and Service Expansion. Each year surveyed medical services professionals are asked to rate the importance of each initiative. This year, very few (less than 5% for any single initiative) reported that these initiatives were not important, and no more than 13% reported they did not know the importance of a particular initiative to their organization.
More than half of all respondents indicated each of the four initiatives were of high importance at their organization. Consistent with the data from the past four years, the Process Improvement and Provider Data Management initiatives were ranked most important (97.2% and 92.0% respectively.) Centralization and Enterprise Standardization was rated the third most important initiative at 79.1%, and Service Expansion was the least likely to be rated as highly important at 61.1%.
These results remained similar to previous years; however, there was with a slight increase in the ratings of Process Improvement (from 96.9% in 2020 to 97.2% in 2021) and Centralization and Enterprise Standardization (from 78.4% in 2020 to 79.1% in 2021). There was an insignificant decrease in the ratings of Provider Data Management (from 93.1% for the last three years to 92.0% in 2021) and Service Expansion (from 61.2% in 2020 to 61.1% in 2021).
This finding represents only a small portion of the survey results presented in VerityStream’s 2021 Annual Report on Medical Staff Credentialing. This year’s report, the fifth installment, is based on a survey of 1000+ medical services professionals and provides insight into the entire medical staff credentialing process. For an overview of the report, register for the upcoming webinar, which will zero in on key findings from the survey regarding process improvement, provider data management, internal resource constraints, and everything in between.
Learn more about the Webinar: 2021 Annual Report on Medical Staff Credentialing.
Date: Thursday, May 13, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM CST
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