During the past couple of years, I’ve seen a big increase in the number of health systems that have standardized and centralized credentialing. They choose this route for many reasons, including the following:
- There may be a single board for a group of healthcare facilities and the board objects to receiving different information when it credentials the same practitioner at more than one of the health system’s hospitals.
- The board may also object to a practitioner being recommended for membership and/or privileges at one hospital, but not at another within the health system. This is particularly problematic when the hospitals are in the same area.
- Health system leaders may believe that if there are “best practices” in credentialing, all hospitals and other healthcare organizations that credential practitioners should adopt and implement those best practices.
- Quality principles tell us that to achieve the best outcomes, we should eliminate variation.
- Health systems often standardize their credentialing software, and when a number of hospitals use the same database, the need to standardize is compelling.