Consulting Connection Blog

Clinical Privileging Projects – Is There an "Easy" Button?

May 27, 2021, 15:03 PM by System.Collections.Generic.List`1[Telerik.Sitefinity.Model.IDataItem]
Even though standardizing privileges is not easy, it is well worth the effort. Vicki Searcy breaks down the success factors your team needs to take into account when approaching your privileging standardization projects.

I have been thinking a lot recently about privileging projects – undoubtedly because VerityStream is in the process of providing 10 webinars on this subject and I’m involved in all of them. Additionally, working with clients on their privileging projects is something that I do every working day.

I wish that I could say that these types of projects are easy – but they are not. I’ve been working on privilege projects since I started working in credentialing and I can attest that despite great tools now being available to assist with privileging projects, they are still not what I would call easy. One of the big reasons for this is that big changes can just be difficult! That is unfortunate, because excellent clinical privileging is fundamental to the goal of keeping patients safe. And in today’s world, we need to have excellent privileges, AND we also need to implement privileging systems in a way that is efficient for those who support privileges as well as our providers.

At this time in healthcare, most organizations are part of a healthcare system, and are not stand-alone hospitals. And with that change, there is a huge push to standardize privileges within a health system – if not the entire system, at least regionally. Standardization projects are absolutely worth it (just ask anyone who is in a health system that has already achieved privileging standardization – they wouldn't go back), but they can be long and challenging. However – there are strategies that you can employ to get you and your organization to a successful finish line.


Wendy R. Crimp RN, PHN, MBA and I will be co-presenting these webinars and will be focusing on how to initiate and implement a successful standardization project. We will cover privilege project success factors that we have learned from many years of experience.

Privilege Project Success Factors

  1. Consider whether organizational culture will support standardization processes.
  2. The project should have a task force.
  3. The project should have a charter. Document the current state vs. the desired state and the principles that will guide the project.
  4. Create a project structure that keeps moving forward and won’t allow stalling.
  5. Leadership roles are key! Not only to act as change agents but to be role models
  6. Build in accountability and timelines.
  7. Be inclusive – But not too inclusive! Gather together appropriate representatives to make decisions. But you don’t have to have everyone weigh in/vote – too much inclusiveness can kill a project.
  8. Keep focused on benefits and goals. What's In it For Me (WIFM).
  9. Communication and education are critical.
  10. Assure that there are adequate resources for the project – magical thinking won’t make it happen.