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JCAHO heralds evidence-based credentialing and privileging

Evidence-based medicine has become the norm in healthcare. Now, in its proposed 2007 standards for credentialing and privileging, the Joint Commission on Accreditatation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) aims to bring the evidence-based approach to the process of vetting providers. Many hospital executives would agree that most providers look good on paper. However, beyond verifying credentials, the challenges for leaders are determining whether a provider is as competent as he or she appears to be and defining competence. Some say the JCAHO’s proposed standards have raised the bar for verifying providers’ competence to unrealistic heights in an effort to make the credentialing and privileging processes more objective.