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 .
While having a sexual harassment policy is necessary if you want to stop this behavior, CEOs often believe (mistakenly) that a good policy and HR department will prevent and mitigate any allegations, says Kate Fenner, PhD, RN, managing director of Compass Clinical Consulting.
“Good policy is necessary but not sufficient,” she says. “Hospitals need to have developed a thoughtful procedure for prevention, detection, and remediation of allegations.
Policy is a first step; however, education, communication, and uniform, fair enforcement are also necessary components, many of which are overlooked in this process.”
Hospitals often reflect a distanced and disinterested attitude toward harassment, says Fenner.
That “head-in-the-sand” approach can lead to being blindsided by significant incidents and the cost, time, and controversy that follow.
So how can hospitals demonstrate they are taking sexual harassment claims seriously? For starters, she says, any allegation of sexual harassment merits a thorough, rapid, and appropriate response.
“Whether a complaint from a surgical nurse, patient, or visitor, the response must be robust, multidisciplinary, and timely,” Fenner says. “There’s no such thing as a minor incident. Multiple avenues for preventing and detecting harassment are required.”
The IMLC was created to make the licensure process more efficient for physicians who practice in multiple states, while also aiming to maintain the integrity and standards of the individual state licensing boards.
Use of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) grew by 47% during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the IMLC Commission, more than 8,000 licenses were issued through the compact from March 2020 to March 2021. During the previous 12-month period, nearly 4,000 licenses were issued.
The states that issued the most licenses during the pandemic were Wisconsin (330), Arizona (324), Illinois (303), Colorado (299), and Nevada (283).
The IMLC was created to make the licensure process more efficient for physicians who practice in multiple states, while also aiming to maintain the integrity and standards of the individual state licensing boards. Since 2017, more than 17,000 licenses have been issued through the compact, meaning nearly half were issued during the pandemic.
Currently 30 states, as well as Guam and the District of Columbia, are members of the IMLC. Legislation to join has been introduced this year in eight additional states.
Running a committee can be a time-consuming, challenging position, as it requires you to coordinate numerous people who likely have differing opinions and are no doubt juggling hectic schedules.
In addition, committees are often asked to do a lot with very little time. The following tips will help you run an efficient, effective committee:
Have an action-oriented, time-limited agenda
Stick to your agenda
Have and use a timekeeper
Don't take your own minutes; it detracts from your ability to control. Ask someone else to perform this function.
Don't defer regular business
If more time is needed, create a task force, have a catch-up meeting, or assign individuals to complete follow-up actions
Don't entertain/permit "grand standers." Instead, try the following:
Suggest presenting an off-topic issue next month
Offer to discuss ideas after the meeting
Suggest researching a new major issue to be put on agenda
Explain the topic is not on the agenda, therefore not committee business
Note the concern and ask for a memo regarding the issue in a few days
Plan to spend 15 minutes preparation time for each hour of committee time
Learn how to confront difficult people (loud-mouths, wet blankets, whiners, snipers, explosives)
Assess your primary management style through a leadership development course to determine your strengths and weaknesses
Editor's note: The preceding was excerpted from How to Recruit and Develop Physician Leaders: A Strategy for Medical Staff Leadership Development by Richard A. Sheff, MD; Todd Sagin, MD, JD; and Albert L. Fritz, MHA.
Even in the greatest hospitals and systems, communication is a challenge, and care can be segmented.
As an MSP, you have the opportunity to act as an advocate for your medical staff.
In your discussions with physicians or hospital employees about initiatives that are starting, make it a point to suggest physician involvement and communication. One of the best ways to resolve turf conflicts is to prevent them.
Help those that you talk with to bring communication with all the interested parties on the front end, and it will save you and your medical staff a lot of aggravation on the back end.
Keep your physician leaders informed on what’s happening in your facility.
Develop a standing informal meeting with your medical staff officers and CEO each month.
Make a list of set items that you will discuss monthly, but also try to make a quick list of the things you’ve heard about throughout the hospital that could impact physicians but that they wouldn’t be aware of.
You will be surprised by what they are not aware of that would have a great impact on the medical staff.
Keep a friendly line of communication open with your medical staff. Stop through the physicians’ lounge and talk with your medical staff movers and shakers, the biggest dissenters, and those that are new to the staff.
Ask them how things are going, and make a note of any issues that need to be taken to your medical staff leadership to address.
Keep the lines of communication open by keeping a bowl of the “good candy” and salty snacks for your office guests.
You are sending the message that physicians can come by for a snack, to ask a question, or to just chat. Keeping these lines of communication open helps to work with physicians during times of conflict, identify potential conflict, and communicate information that they may have missed.
As health systems acquire more facilities, build new hospitals, or move some tasks to CVOs, more MSPs will be working with colleagues in different locations.
Managing these virtual teams presents some different challenges and new twists on traditional team building and conflict resolution.
Here are five tools for managing virtual teams:
Use technology appropriately. Although email is good for relaying information and can be used for conversations, it has its limits. If you can’t convey your message in one to two email responses, then you need to pick up the phone.
Listen carefully in telephone conferences. Tune in to team members’ tone of voice, inflection, and pitch to understand what colleagues are saying. Think carefully about how to respond.
Repeat important messages. Follow up meetings with an email that includes topics of discussion, decisions, and due dates to ensure everyone is on the same page. The information should also be posted on the organization’s intranet site or other shared space.
Identify personal preferences. Some people are constantly in email. Others only look at email occasionally, so a phone call might work better. Using instant messaging may be the answer for other team members.
Consider cultural differences. This doesn't just mean colleagues outside the U.S. Different regions of this country have different customs, holidays, and special occasions.
From "Prepare to credential and manage in a virtual world," Credentialing Resource Center Journal, December 2014.
Revising the bylaws is not a chore that medical staff members look forward to participating in, but it is an important responsibility that cannot be ignored if the medical staff wants to have compliant, contemporary bylaws that address the issues that the medical staff faces.
When reviewing the bylaws, medical staffs should create a bylaws review committee, including individuals such as:
Vice president of medical affairs
Chief medical officer
Medical staff leaders
Medical staff members
It is important to include seasoned medical staff leaders who, by their use of the bylaws, know the strengths and weaknesses of the current documents on that committee. However, medical staff leaders’ primary job is to oversee patient care activities – they perform their medical staff responsibilities in addition to their normal workload.
Most medical staff leaders do not keep new CMS regulations or accreditation standards top of mind; they also struggle to keep up with the legal cases that could affect the organized medical staff. Therefore, it is also important to include administrative personnel, such as the VPMA/CMO and MSPs. These individuals facilitate the medical staff operations and have a better day-to-day understanding of the bylaws than most individuals within the organization.
In addition, include one or two medical staff members who other medical staff members look up to and who are otherwise be considered contrarians. The medical staff knows that these individuals will question the process thoroughly. If this person agrees to the bylaws revisions, other members of the medical staff are likely to buy into the changes because they trust that this individual has vetted the new bylaws from top to bottom. It is better to bring in these individuals into the process so that they can work within the process, have substantive input into the resulting product, and then be your best advocate for the proposed changes.
We have two upcoming events to provide you with engaging education, training, and opportunities to network with your peers from across the country in-person or virtually.
This April, join us for the NPE & CRC Virtual Experience, a four-day event that brings together the best of two favorite events: The National Provider Enrollment Forum and the Credentialing Resource Center Symposium. This virtual event provides a dive into the complex processes involved in credentialing, privileging, peer review, and enrollment with expert guidance and best practices.
Then in September, join us in Nashville for the return of our National Provider Enrollment Forum 2021. Experienced veterans in the field as well as top industry experts will offer best practices and tips for developing and sustaining successful processes. This year's forum includes a dedicated credentialing track, making it the perfect event for provider enrollment professionals, enrollment managers, and credentialing specialists.
About 70% of physicians in a 400-person survey from Jackson Physician Search reported being actively disengaged from their employers. The survey took place between October and November 2020. Fifty four percent of physicians in the survey noted they are planning to make an employment change, with 50% of those planning to make an employment change planning to leave their current employer for another. Thirty six percent of those planning for an employment change noted considering early retirement or all together leaving the practice of medicine.
On the other side of the coin, only 30% of the 86 healthcare administrators surveyed reported losing physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to researchers, the findings suggest a “mass exit” of physicians in the near future.
Earlier research has suggested that the annual cost of physician burnout is conservatively estimated at $4.6 billion, so this impending exodus could be extremely costly for healthcare organizations, the researchers note, as recruiting a new physician is time consuming and costly. When combined with the predicted physician shortages in the next 10-15 years, a crisis could be looming.
It may be useful for organizations to take this information and better develop their physician retention programs, as 83% of physician respondents to the survey said their organization has no physician retention program in place.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on our sister site, acdis.org. The Jackson Physician Search survey report can be found here. To read about earlier reports related to physician burnout and retention, click here.
Committees such as medical executive, credentials, and peer review have traditionally been composed of physician members and administrative representatives.
However, your facility may choose to extend committee membership to non-physician practitioners.
The following are some questions that should factor into this decision:
Has your facility expanded its definition of medical staff to include advanced practitice professionals (APP)?
What do your bylaws, rules and regulations, and other policies say regarding committee structure and membership? Have these policies been reviewed recently?
Do your state’s peer review statutes include the coverage of APPs?
Is the committee in question a general hospital committee, or a medical staff committee that requires peer review protection?
If you include APPs in your meetings, will they be voting members or representatives without a vote?
Consult with your legal counsel before making any change in medical staff structure to ensure that proper protection is in place and to promote full adherence to state regulations.
If APPs assume larger roles at your facility, committees will likely be improved—not hindered—by their perspective.
You may also consider developing a dedicated APP committee with various champions who keep a finger on the national pulse of their profession and identify new ways that they can contribute to the facility’s overarching goals.
Such responsibilities empower APPs to bring their specific—and increasingly specialized—knowledge to the table, and to add their voice to pivotal healthcare conversations.
New York Physician George Blatti, MD, is facing second-degree murder charges after his prescribing practices allegedly led to the deaths of five patients.
According to Nassau County District Attorney, Madeline Singas, Blatti is charged with five counts of second-degree murder and 11 counts of reckless endangerment in the first degree.
Under New York State law, Blatti’s second-degree murder charges stem from an alleged depraved indifference to human life, and prosecutors believe he is the first physician to face such charges in New York.
A 2018 investigation into opioid overdoses and deaths ultimately revealed that Blatti prescribed an inordinate amount of prescriptions to certain people.
According to the grand jury indictment, Blatti met with patients in his car and prescribed medications without a medical examination or history.
Additionally, he allegedly prescribed opioids to individuals he had not met with, upon his patients’ request.
The indictment also charges that Blatti ignored documented overdoses and prescription drug abuse in patient records as well as warnings from pharmacies and insurers about his prescribing practices.
He was also aware that several of his patients had died of overdoses and disregarded pleas from patients’ families to stop prescribing opioids to the patients struggling with addiction.
“This doctor’s prescription pad was as lethal as any murder weapon,” said Singas. “We allege that Dr. Blatti showed depraved indifference to human life, total disregarded for the law, his ethical obligations, and the pleas of his patients and their family members when he prescribed massive quantities of dangerous drugs to victims in the throes of addiction, ultimately killing five patients who entrusted him with their care. As we continue to battle the epidemic of opioid abuse that has ravaged our communities, this prosecution sends a strong message to any doctor seeking to profit from vulnerable patients’ addiction: we will hold you accountable to the greatest extent the law allows.”
Blatti received his medical license in 1976. In 2019, he voluntarily surrendered his license to authorities. If convicted, Blatti faces up to 25 years in prison.