Improved credentialing can help hospitals stop physician imposters

Fake doctors are not a prevalent threat, but that doesn't mean they are not a serious one. Earlier this year a Florida teenager impersonated an anesthesiologist for a month before he was discovered, according to Becker's Hospital Review. But these damaging situations can be avoided, said Sally Pelletier, chief credentialing officer for the Greeley Company, in the 2015 edition of The Greeley Evolving Credentialing Standard. The report offers "safeguards against successful negligent credentialing suits and other risks." The report outlines "16 Elements for Credentialing Excellence," which include lifetime histories of licensure, certification, education and training to ensure that the clinicians were not suspended or otherwise restricted in practice, as well as attaching photos to professional references to make sure the clinicians are who they say they are. The report also recommends conducting an Internet search of applicants. Report (.pdf)