UNC Health’s Journey to Standardize Privileging

November 23, 2022
November 23, 2022

About the Customer

UNC Health is a not-for-profit, academic health care system that's CVO credentials over 8,000 providers. As UNC Health continued to expand, they decided it was time to upgrade their credentialing solution from EchoCredentialing to CredentialStream to better fit their needs as a rapidly growing organization. UNC Health chose CredentialStream for it's standardized privileging, library of continuously updated privilege forms, and the automation features.

unc customer storyOverview

UNC Health is a not-for-profit, academic health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. The system comprises UNC Hospitals and its provider network, the clinical programs of the UNC School of Medicine, 24 hospitals and with numerous clinics and ambulatory centers statewide. Its CVO credentials over 8,000 providers.

The organization is focused on changing lives for the better by improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians. Exploding growth and an influx of new providers were the catalysts for UNC Health’s decision to seek an updated privileging solution that fully maximized technology.

Address Future Challenges_PKey Challenges

More than 500 credentialed providers per FTE means the team must maximize use of technology.

As new hospitals joined UNC Health, the number of crossover providers expanded. These providers grew increasingly frustrated with the need to complete multiple forms and the variation in privileging criteria.

UNC Health identified a desire to standardize privileging in 2014 with a system-wide tool, but the immediate need to onboard new hospitals and providers took precedence. UNC Health moved privileging online, but did not obtain full leadership buy-in and funding to standardize privileging across the system until 2022.

Competency_YSolution Selection Process

UNC Health has long been committed to process excellence, maximizing technology and operating in an electronic and paperless environment. In 2014, they established a CVO for their entire health system and set their sights on standardizing privileges system-wide. Achieving that goal has been a gradual process that began with moving all current privilege forms online and making them accessible via a centralized portal supported by EchoCredentialing, a HealthStream legacy product.

With that move complete, the team was able to access the variation in forms and the way in which privilege criteria differed from one hospital to another. They knew they needed to standardize privileges across the system to support the growing number of crossover providers who were frustrated by requests to complete multiple forms and the variation in criteria from hospital to hospital.

HealthStream and their solutions had served UNC Health well over the years. And, the opportunity to take advantage of the Privilege Preview offer which allowed UNC Health to sign a no-cost agreement for access to CredentialStream so they could immediately get to work on standardizing privileging – felt like a great fit. With a library of continuously updated, best-practice, evidence-based, specialty-specific privilege forms, UNC Health felt confident that Privilege Preview and ultimately the CredentialStream solution would save they time by eliminating the need to research and create forms from scratch. In addition, UNC Health knew CredentialStream would enable more automation and enterprise-wide process alignment. The incorporation of all the provider data and Health Alliance data will become the single source of truth across the organization.


Developing standardized forms tend to be the most challenging part of a privileging project, and the CVO team at UNC Health is well on their way to accomplishing this task. To date, they have:

Built a Solid Foundation
With VerityStream’s guidance, UNC Health has established a project structure and a strong foundation for success. UNC Health’s CMO Subgroup is comprised of CMO’s who are well equipped to examine forms and provide feedback.

Created a Forms Checklist
UNC Health is taking advantage of HealthStream's Privileging Grid, a checklist that guides them through form selection and set up. Via the Grid, they can view CrendentialStream’s extensive library of 1000+ forms, select, and modify the forms that meet their needs.

Launched a Forms Pilot
Despite pandemic-related challenges, the CVO team has been working with two of the system’s larger hospitals to draft forms. These forms have been heavily influenced by CredentialStream’s Privileging Forms Library, which features forms curated according to industry and accreditation standards. The team has focused on developing the most straightforward forms first, such as Rheumatology. Forms that are more complex will be reviewed next, such as Cardiology.


Improve_CLooking Ahead

As initial forms are drafted, UNC Health’s CVO will be “cross-walking” the forms across the system for approval. The goal is to approve and implement as many multi-facility forms as possible, which will simplify life for crossover providers. Once forms are approved, they will be configured in CredentialStream and providers’ current privileges will be updated. UNC Health plans to be fully utilizing CredentialStream for privileging in 2023.

“Keeping the end in mind is critical with a project like this. We’ve had the goal of improving our privilege forms, standardizing our process, and maximizing our use of technology as a focus throughout our journey. Having this vision has helped keep us on track, despite having to navigate growth and unexpected issues like the pandemic along the way.”

Linda Waldorf, BS, CPMSM, CPCS, FMSP, System Director, UNC Health Centralized Credentialing Office