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Selecting the Right Credentialing Software

News  |  By Credentialing Resource Center  
   June 05, 2017

Finding a viable solution is easy. What’s harder is sifting through the range of vendors to identify the best partner and then gaining approval to move forward.

This article was first published May 31, 2017 on Credentialing Resource Center.

Are you considering a change in your credentialing software or a move to an automated system? Modern medical staff services departments are increasingly turning to technologies that allow MSPs and other credentialing stakeholders across the organization to go paperless; house large volumes of quality data in a centralized, searchable, and secure location; facilitate virtual committee meetings; purchase managed care modules; trend initial and reappointment turnaround times; and more.

Given these myriad capabilities, finding a viable solution is easy. What’s harder is sifting through the range of vendors to identify the best partner and, once you do, gaining approval to move forward.

Over the course of my career, I’ve participated in numerous software transitions and learned a lot about effectively addressing these goals. Here are my top tips for pinpointing specific organizational needs, choosing the right vendor, and earning buy-in from organization leadership.

Assess organizational needs

Before purchasing new credentialing software—or making a wholesale move from a manual to a database-driven process—MSPs must assess their organizational needs and expectations, which will aid in identifying the desired software and developing criteria for evaluating vendors. Use the following questions to focus your preliminary assessment:

  • Why are we doing this, and why now? Motivators may include going paperless; establishing a single “source of truth” for providers’ demographics; standardizing the credentialing process across multiple facilities within a healthcare system; easing the transition from manual credentialing to an automated process; and integrating web crawlers that obtain practitioner data through state licensure, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of Inspector General, and other authorities.
  • What are the pros and cons of implementing new software? Pros may include improved efficiency, better reporting capabilities, the option to add more modules for online applications, and the ability to hold virtual committee meetings. Cons may include high costs, limited IT availability, and difficulty gaining support to make the transition to a new software.
  • What’s the anticipated return on investment?
  • What are the anticipated costs? Consider direct and indirect expenditures, including annual fees and staffing hours devoted to research, training, and getting up to speed on the new software.
  • Will we need a single or multi-entity software?
  • What’s a realistic implementation time frame?
  • What level of support and commitment can we expect from key stakeholders? How much time can IT personnel, MSPs, medical staff leaders, and others realistically dedicate to the project?
  • Who (if anyone) will serve as executive sponsor and project manager? Typically, the executive sponsor will be the senior leader who oversees the medical staff services department. If available, a specific project manager may be assigned, or the director/manager may assume the position.

Through answering these questions, the medical staff services department should determine which type of software would be the best fit and prepare a formal recommendation for senior leadership.

To read the rest of Davenport's tips, CRC members can click here. Non-CRC members can become members by clicking here.

To learn how one organization transformed its medical staff services department into a paperless environment, Platinum Plus members can listen to this webinar. To upgrade to a Platinum Plus membership, click here.

The Credentialing Resource Center (CRC) is the premier destination for credentialing, privileging, and peer review expertise. Membership provides MSPs, quality professionals, and medical staff leaders with a collection of continuously updated tools, best practice strategies, and compliance tips developed by industry experts. With three membership tiers, you can customize your access level depending on your education and training needs. Learn more

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