Ambulatory facilities can improve on credentialing


A new study found ambulatory healthcare facilities need to focus attention on improving their credentialing and privileging processes for physicians and other providers.

The AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care) Institute reviewed the results of 1,363 on-site accreditation surveys performed from June 2015 to June 2016 and found credentialing and privileging had the highest incidence (10% or more) where organizations were partially compliant or non-compliant with the accreditor’s standards. The surveys took place in ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery facilities and primary care settings. Organizations also need to pay attention to peer review where peers confirm a provider’s competence by reviewing clinical records and other aspects of care during the privileging process.

Improved credentialing and privileging processes help healthcare organizations validate a provider’s qualifications and prevent the rare occurrence of a fake physician or nurse and ensure a provider is qualified to deliver specific treatment and perform procedures, FiercePracticeManagement has reported.

On the other hand, where did organizations excel? Facilities showed strong overall compliance with communication standards such as empowering patients to participate in decision-making, providing information on fees for services and payment policies, and consistently documenting the person responsible for the patient’s care, the study found. Aids, such as a tool developed by researchers and surgeons at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Surgery, can better inform and engage with patients in shared decision-making.

The fourth annual AAAHC Quality Roadmap report is available on the AAAHC website. Other areas where the study found organizations could do better involved conducting well-organized and effective quality improvement studies with meaningful, measurable performance goals and improved documentation, particularly of allergies and written evaluation of emergency drills.