Beware of information errors and decision errors
There are two types of errors that can occur in the credentialing/privileging process: information errors and decision errors.
1. Information errors. This refers to information that is available but that you don’t have. For example, you have the name-rank-serial number letter from Good Name Hospital. What you don’t have is the information stating that Dr. ABC had a number of adverse peer review findings and resigned privileges before a formal investigation was initiated. This is why more medical staffs consider this type of generic evaluation to be insufficient and require the applicant to provide additional information. Information errors can be very difficult to recognize and ferret out. As a medical staff leader, this is where you really need to trust the instincts of a seasoned MSP and physicians on your staff who have experience in credentialing/privileging. These folks have an uncanny radar—a welldeveloped sense of something that isn’t quite right—and you really need to listen to their concerns.
2. Decision errors. This refers to information that you possess, but you choose to make a decision despite it. For example, you really need a general surgeon. Professional peer references come back that the candidate is a technically competent physician. Two of the three references allude to difficulties in professional relationships with staff and colleagues. You accept the candidate anyway and—surprise, surprise—you have significant complaints from staff and patients about brusque and unprofessional conduct. This type of error is more obvious (and painful) in the mirror looking back.