How credentialing staff can better prepare for emergency situations: Valuable lessons learned during COVID-19
The onset of COVID-19 introduced significant credentialing challenges that healthcare organizations had not faced in prior emergency/disaster situations. What was different about the pandemic?
For one, it hit a large portion of the United States all at once; for another, it has lasted much longer than previous emergencies and disasters. Both of these factors have made it difficult to expedite the recruiting and credentialing of volunteer physicians using traditional emergency plans.
Ultimately, healthcare organizations are finding that this pandemic requires a change in emergency credentialing practices. In a survey conducted by HCPro in April 2020, 129 healthcare leaders, including VPs, chief department executives, and CEOs from hospitals, health systems, physician groups, and other healthcare organizations shared key aspects of their emergency credentialing plans prior to the pandemic, along with future revisions they anticipate making. Only 55% of respondents said they had an emergency/disaster privileging plan in place prior to COVID-19, while 45% didn’t have a plan or had one that needed to be revised significantly.