Best Practices for Implementing a Successful Preceptor Program

What is Precepting?


When it comes to working in healthcare, one thing is certain, there is always an opportunity to learn something new. Even though a residency or fellowship is completed, continued learning and skill acquisition are a must as this helps providers maintain the clinical experience needed to keep up with scientific and technological advancements. This is why precepting is of such importance, and while many may think proctoring and precepting are the same thing, they are not.


Precepting is the process through which a provider gains experience and/or training on new skills and knowledge. Precepting is the method to train a provider on a new skill by a preceptor, also known as an instructor/teacher. In contrast, proctoring is the process through which a provider proves skills and/or knowledge that they have already learned. A well-designed preceptorship can assist providers with a skills refresher when specific clinical skills have not been recently performed or enable them to practice new skills on human subjects while supervised after instructional training has been completed. When teaching a new practice to a trainee, the preceptor is responsible for the actions of the trainee and themselves.


A well-run and well-documented precepting program will ensure that privileging criteria is met prior to granting clinical privileges. If your organization decides that establishing a preceptorship program is of value, it will be important to ensure it is well-defined and that it produces documentation that confirms how a provider acquired new skills and/or knowledge.

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Best Practices for Implementing Preceptor Program

Best Practices for Implementing a Successful Preceptor Program


Developing an effective preceptor program starts with a solid infrastructure that empowers the organization to select appropriate preceptors, establishes a system for reward and recognition, and provides a detailed guide on how to best run the day-to-day practice of precepting. One way to implement precepting is to follow the Relationship-Based Precepting (RBP) Model, which combines four core elements: supervision, socialization, professional practice, and resiliency.


It is also vital to establish preceptors as part of the unit leadership team. By being socialized into a leadership role, preceptors will be recognized by staff as part of the leadership team, giving them more credence outside the orientation process. The RBP Model promotes authentic connection with others while nurturing individual growth. With a successfully implemented RBP Model, healthcare organizations can expect:


  • Improved preceptor and preceptee satisfaction
  • Improved staff engagement and satisfaction
  • Shorter orientations
  • More confidence in preceptee to practice new skills

Automating and standardizing how your organization documents the manner a provider acquires new skills and knowledge is an effective way for your organization to fortify patient care and satisfy providers in a single step. Privilege from VerityStream empowers you to do just that.

Tracking CMEs


Another important part to a preceptorship is tracking Continuing Medical Education (CME). Whether physicians work in clinical care, research, administration, executive leadership, or other areas of medicine, accredited CME supports their commitment to lifelong learning and practice improvement, and helps them meet requirements for licensure, certification, and credentialing. CME is a critical component of the U.S. healthcare system, regulated by both state and medical boards. In fact, most states require CME for license renewal. Because of these requirements, the tracking of what CMEs a provider completes is vital to keeping them current and compliant. CredentialStream's provider portal, called the Hub, facilitates the kind of tracking required.

Precepting Tracking CMEs
Granting privileges for different preceptorships

Conditional Privileging & Management


In order to remain compliant with granted privileges, conditions may need to be met. These conditions can often times be met by participating in different preceptorships or proctorships. How an organization manages conditions will vary, but there are certain best practices all can benefit from such as:


  • A centralized location is helpful in keeping conditional information organized, relevant, and available
  • Keeping track of conditions as they’re met
  • Details on the condition’s time frame and on who the assigned review coordinator is ensures a smoother process

CredentialStream can help facilitate best practices with our privilege forms library. Our privilege forms include pre-defined and assigned conditions with the option to modify to suit your needs. Our content focuses on differing conditions with conditions for each type of provider and/or specialty. We also offer privileges management solutions that automates some of the conditions review process.

Managing and tracking preceptorships doesn’t have to be hard — VerityStream is here to help! We currently serve over 2,500 hospitals and 1,300 outpatient facilities in the U.S. including ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care clinics, and medical groups. We’d like to help you document and track preceptorships too!

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