Digital Credentialing as a Continuity Solution for Staff Turnover

- March 24, 2016 -

Every credentialing manager has dreamt of the day that technology catches up in the credentialing realm to simplify and standardize the process.

To date, credentialing a single provider can require over a hundred sheets of paper and dozens of hours of work over a period of sixty to ninety days. Maintaining that file consumes time and space indefinitely, and recredentialing is required periodically per each facility's medical staff bylaws, which essentially requires that the entire process is repeated from start to finish. Using this system, each level of communication takes seven to ten days on average, as many forms are mailed back and forth for completion and signatures (and when something isn't completed accurately, the same form can be mailed back and forth multiple times).

Digital Credentialing: A Solution that Benefits Everyone

Whether you're a medical provider who's tired of the endless paperwork, an administrator seeking better survey results, or a credential management specialist who's ready for a more user-friendly system, digital credentialing is the solution.

Cloud-based digital credentialing platforms are designed to simplify the process, significantly decreasing the resources required to effectively credential each provider and the waiting period between initial offer and first services rendered, and making it easier for facilities to accommodate turnover in credentialing staff.

A Continuity Solution to Improve Quality

As facilities work to build and maintain patient trust, continuity is vital. However, even the best organizations experience turnover. When an ASC experiences turnover in its credentialing department, the center's compliance is compromised when there isn't an effective system in place.

What can you do to maintain continuity following staff turnover?

  1. You can ensure the competency and character of each new provider before they begin practicing;
  2. you can establish a training program that clearly communicates the organization's vision and mission as well as code of conduct;
  3. and you can invest in systems designed to provide continuity, such as a digital credentialing platform.

With the click of a mouse, you can initiate the verification process for claims history, degrees, hospital affiliations, licenses, and more. Copies, envelopes, requests, authorizations, and long waits are pain points of the past, yet administration can rest assured that the investigative work is done and every provider meets the facility's unique and stringent quality guidelines. Patient care improves with the use of a competent credentialing platform.

So Accessible that Staff Turnover is No Longer a Crisis

When you use paperless digital credentialing, all parties who need to access a credentialing file can do so simultaneously from their own offices or locations across the world. While a doctor uploads requested documents, a credentialing specialist can be reviewing verification results and forwarding the file to the next party for approval. There are no stamps, no envelopes, and no week-long waits to receive important documents in the mail; the moment a document is uploaded, the credentialing manager is notified and able to access and review the file.

If an integral member of your credentialing team leaves the company, their replacement can easily pick up where she left off using automated reminders and electronic notifications. The accessibility of digital credentialing can eliminate weeks of processing time on each provider despite staff turnover, which means your new providers can render services sooner.

Efficiency is a Doctor's Best Friend

One of the most challenging aspects of credentialing is often convincing physicians and other providers to buy into the process to ensure timely completion of forms; when you experience turnover in credentialing, it can take significant time for new staff to develop rapport with doctors. Mistrust and frustration build when new credentialing staff request documentation from doctors that was already on file but is lost or misplaced.

When you choose a digital credentialing solution, even the most inexperienced staff can easily locate important documents, and even the busiest providers can easily upload renewals and new certifications. This improves the relationship between the clinical and credentialing teams and saves time and frustration facility-wide.

Compliance and Accreditation are at the Forefront

Because credentialing mistakes are the single most common cause for accreditation issues, standardizing the credentialing process in order to maintain compliance with accrediting agencies is a common objective behind digital credentialing solutions. Credentialing errors are most likely to occur following staff turnover.

A Silversheet customer has experienced this situation in the past: the credential manager had left the center, leaving the provider files unattended until another administrator was able to take the task. Because the credentialing was paper-based, it was easy to miss errors and time-consuming to pick up. Missing documents, expired licenses, and inactive doctors added to the headache.

Digital credential’s automation casts a safety net for centers that experience turnovers. Automatic reminders when appointment periods, licenses, and certifications are set to expire eliminate the need for manual tracking through spreadsheets and removes the risk of human error from the equation. The risk of misfiling or misplacement is non-existent due to an organized, paperless filing and tracking system. The risk that accompanies incomplete forms and dates is all but erased with simple programming rules that prevent submission when fields are left blank or improperly formatted, which significantly reduces the risk of deficiencies during a survey.

Cost as Playing Factor

Like any other appeal, when presenting to senior management for approval, the most important data to illustrate is return on investment. You can easily demonstrate how migrating to a cloud-based system for your ambulatory surgery center or other facility will increase revenue and decrease expenses in the following ways:

  • The amount of time it takes to train new staff in the credentialing department following turnover is substantially decreased
  • Hiring a new staff member to maintain the provider files becomes less of a priority since digital credentialing is easy for anyone with administrative skills to pick up where the last manager left off
  • Providers spend less time completing appointment applications, copying and mail documents, and communicating back and forth with credentialing staff
  • Even in the event of turnovers, credentialing applications are less likely to contain errors, which means insurance claims are less likely to be denied, saving time and expense in accounts receivable

Silversheet is a money-saving solution that helps healthcare facilities and providers stay compliant.

The Benefits Extend Beyond Cost Savings

Aside from saving money, digital credentialing provides a number of important and game-changing benefits to nearly every healthcare facility:

  • It improves quality of care provided by thoroughly and quickly screening potential doctors to confirm educational achievements, license to practice medicine, and hospital affiliations and by screening for past criminal background or medical malpractice claims
  • It improves employee morale by absorbing the most time-consuming, tedious (and often frustrating) task and freeing up time for more engaging, interesting projects
  • It positively impacts the environment by saving on thousands of sheets of paper annually, and making strides toward becoming an environmentally-conscious employer is beneficial from both marketing and recruitment aspects
  • It improves compliance with accrediting organizations by ensuring all submissions are complete, all documents are easy to locate and navigate, all levels of approval are complete, and adequate screening and verification were completed before the application was approved

When you combine these important benefits with significant cost savings, it doesn't take a genius to see that Silversheet + your healthcare facility = a match made in heaven. It's time to file for divorce from your months-long paper credentialing process and say hello to automated, simplified, digitized credentialing from Silversheet.

It only takes a few moments to change everything you thought you knew about credentialing and start dreaming about a more efficient, innovative future; to learn more about the platform and see the software in action, click "Request a Demo" below;

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