In 2007, when an appellate court in Illinois held that hospitals could be liable for failing to properly credential physicians, the decision immediately put allied health service organizations on notice. Ruling that negligent credentialing may lead to life-altering events for patients and their families meant every healthcare facility, surgical clinic, laboratory and ancillary service provider had a more rigorous burden to ensure patient safety by carefully screening medical staff.
The ruling was an impetus for hospital administrators to revisit their employee recruitment policies, credentialing protocol and privilege guidelines. While progress has been made in recent years to significantly reduce medical errors, there is still work to be done. Assessing and re-engineering the onboarding process is a great place to start.
It is imperative to maintain a rigorous verification process to reduce legal liability and ensure patient safety.
The Verification Process for Onboarding Physicians, Surgeons and Ancillary Staff
Responsible credentialing hinges on a comprehensive review. Likewise, assigning appropriate privilege levels is only possible with information gained during the credential-granting process. Properly screening potential employees involves a careful examination of education, professional training, licensure, specialty certificates, prior malpractice claims and experience. In conjunction with education verifications, carefully examining every aspect of a candidate’s background limits medical organizations’ exposure to legal challenges should a patient experience adverse effects after treatment, or die due to provider negligence.
There are a number of ways to complete the pre-employment vetting processes. For example, internal HR departments may assume the role of managing degree verifications by contacting individual educational institutions to confirm degrees were properly conferred on the candidate, request reports from the National Student Clearing House, or partner with an investigative agency with the skills and resources to go beyond simply verifying that candidates have the proper education and medical certifications.
Why Your Medical Organization Should Hire A Full-Service Verification Network
No medical enterprise intentionally tries to attract physicians with less-than-stellar references, but a shallow background check that doesn’t include scanning the appropriate databases for reports of elder abuse, reviewing the FDA-restricted list, and ordering statewide criminal checks may not reveal all potential problems.
Prevention is still the best cure in most situations. Of the options listed above, allied health services providers that partner with a professional verification agency are better positioned to defend themselves against lawsuits.
Hospitals essentially endorse physicians when they extend privileges. When the physician has a history of inappropriate actions or malpractice, the hospital or clinic shares blame when something goes wrong and risks irreparable damage to its reputation.
Global Verification Network has the technology, human capital and expertise to empower medical organizations to protect their financial health and patients. Contact a Global Verification Network investigative specialist today to discuss the best way to implement an organizationwide credentialing and privilege policy review.