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Use Medical Staff Membership to Integrate, Not Separate, Satellite Clinics

Emily Berry, December 4, 2009

Facilities that are looking for a way to achieve a closer bond between hospital-based practitioners and their peers who work at satellite clinics should work with medical staff leaders to extend medical staff membership and hospital privileges to clinic practitioners.

Although medical staff membership is separate from clinical privileges, linking the two together can result in a medical staff with greater dedication to the organization. Just granting privileges alone will get the practitioners in the door, but what happens after that?

"I don't like the idea of providing access to your hospital without requiring [practitioners] also take on responsibilities that go along with medical staff membership," says Kathy Matzka, CPMSM, CPCS, a medical staff consultant from Lebanon, IL. "I don't think we should let them off the hook and give them a free pass. They need to be integrated into hospital organization."

Therefore, the benefits of hospital privileges, such as increased revenue from seeing more patients, should come with the responsibilities of medical staff membership, such as meeting attendance, according to Matzka.

Extending medical staff membership to practitioners who primarily work at satellite clinic locations is one way to ensure that those practitioners work as a unit with their hospital-based peers. But it's not the only way.

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