Medical Staff Professionals (MSPs) everywhere agree that privileging projects are tricky, but they also agree they're essential. Standardizing privileges ensures you have consistent criteria for privileges across a health system and equips you to deliver next-level patient care and provider experiences. Standardization also means everybody on the medical staff has access to the same information, eliminating redundancies, inefficiencies, and confusion.
While successfully implementing a privileging project is difficult, it can be done. With the right guidance and planning, you can have a dependable structure for success in place in no time. Read on for our tips on how to best go about it. Remember, the most important thing to do is to ensure every step you take is getting you closer to achieving your end goal: implementing standardized privileges.
If you're going to dedicate resources, time, and money to a large undertaking like a privileging project, it's important to confirm that the benefits far outweigh the risks or cost. Fortunately, there are countless benefits associated with a well-implemented privileging project such as:
Clearly, the benefits speak for itself. But before you launch a privileging project, it's important to determine your readiness for one.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." We've all heard that before, and when it comes to implementing a privileging project, truer words have never been spoken. The thing is, more often than not, there is something broken that needs attention, we may have just gotten so used to it that we can't even see it. So, what are some red flags that might signal you're in need of a privileging project?
If you've answered "yes" to any of those questions, then it may be time to implement a privileging project. There are also some real-world examples showcasing why a privileging project is a necessary step to take:
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You overhear leadership discuss the purchase of a Da Vinci Robot, and how providers are signed up to use it. But this is the first you're hearing of the device, which means none of the providers have the necessary privilege to use it in the first place.
A Credentials Committee may not complete their recommendation during a meeting, which means documentation hasn't been approved to move forward with granting privileges, leading to unnecessary delays.
A provider at your organization performs a newsworthy cutting-edge procedure, it's even in the papers, but the medical staff discovers the procedure wasn't one the provider was privileged for in the first place.
If you determine the need to standardize privileges, it's important to assess your organization's readiness to adapt to change. You'll also want to put a team in place to spearhead the project. Key considerations and actions include:
With these actions tackled, you're ready to start your privileging project. Privileging projects are by nature lengthy and time-consuming. Because of this, it's important to begin with a clearly determined and thought-out end in mind. You want to know from the get-go what method will be used for your privileging project: Will it be a single facility, multi-facility, or enterprise? While circumstances can change throughout a project, advance planning helps assure the transition process has been appropriately designed and resourced.
A great way to navigate the complexities of implementing standardized privileges is to consider the experiences of organizations that have been there and done that. That's the case for The University of North Carolina Health Care System. Here's a quick overview of their successful privileging project.
The University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care System is a large medical system of 19 hospitals, with CVOs that credential over 8,000 providers. Their culture is one that supports forward mobility and growth, with a fully electronic and paperless environment dedicated to maximizing technology. Their journey to automate and standardize privileges started back in 2014, where they established an internal CVO. They spent several years focused on their credentialing and enrollment processes, before turning their full attention on standardizing privileges in 2021. In an effort to achieve the best results, they closely followed the guidelines outlined in this post. Key actions included:
At this point in time, UNC Health Care System is continuing to complete the preliminary work of drafting forms and cleaning up data, before launching their new standardized privileging process powered by CredentialStream in 2023. You can get all the details on their journey in our webinar: How UNC Health Care System Automated and Accelerated their Privileging and How You Can, Too. Learn from their experience, and if you want to discover how you can implement a privileging project, reach out for a demo! As always, we're here to help, every step of the way.