Build a solid credentials committee

To ensure that the credentials committee benefits from interested, experienced, and knowledgeable members, the members of the credentials committee should be able to serve significant tenures (e.g., three or more years). The medical staff should choose a chair who is skilled in credentialing, as opposed to a rotating medical staff officer who may have no background in credentialing and who cannot provide continuity of leadership to the committee. Credentialing is the area that subjects the medical staff to the greatest legal and regulatory scrutiny. It is also an area in which statutes and regulations are frequently revised. An experienced credentials committee chair can help the medical staff navigate these tempestuous waters. Familiarity with the legal and regulatory standards is one reason why it is common for credentials committee chairs and members to serve lengthier terms than chairs or members of other committees. Members should stagger the lengths of their terms so that there are always experienced members on the committee. Medical staffs should consider rewarding leaders who choose to stay on the credentials committee for several successful terms, as it is a difficult job, and experience is strongly encouraged.