Tip: Bring key HR policies for employed physicians to the broader medical staff

Employed practitioners must comply with HR policies, such as those surrounding orientation, patient safety, and risk management. These requirements promote understanding of the organization’s culture and compliance with regulations and standards regarding patient care and safety. Consider applying these policies to the non-employed physicians who will be rendering services on site.

If your medical staff comprises both employed and non-employed practitioners (e.g., including those who are contracted or based in the community), examine what HR requires, and if it makes sense, apply the employed physician–related requirements to practitioners who come on board in other capacities. The following are examples of HR policies for employed physicians that the medical staff might consider instituting for all privileged practitioners:

  • Background check
  • Flu vaccinations
  • TB testing
  • Random urine testing

Additionally, consider building key HR policies regarding the institution’s culture, mission, and vision into new-practitioner orientation. Work with HR to integrate applicable elements of orientation programs for employed physicians into such programs for other privileged practitioners. Potential crossover topics include the following:

  • Safety
  • Hand washing
  • Electronic incident reporting
  • Case management

If you’re not sure what occurs on the HR end once a practitioner is employed and how these activities differ by privileged discipline (e.g., physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse), meet with HR to find out. This effort will take some time up front, but once the rules are established and the medical staff leadership is on board, meeting the HR-driven requirements will become routine for all new practitioners.

The medical staff services department (MSSD) should work with HR to determine who will administer or facilitate the additional onboard­ing activities for the community-based and contracted practitioners. Often, the HR department will not want to be involved with non-employees; in that case, the MSSD may need to manage and confirm fulfillment of the additional requirements. Although this extra work might increase the department’s workload slightly, MSPs can take heart in the fact that applying consistent vetting and onboarding practices across all privileged practitioners promotes patient safety and compliance.

Source: Overcoming Contemporary Credentialing Challenges: Practical Strategies for MSPs and Medical Staffs