Quality Patient Services through Competent Staff
November 25, 2013
By Sheila Ham
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. -- Medical staff service professionals ensure the accreditation of physicians and nurses and play an important role in our Nation's health care system.
To ensure the delivery of high quality healthcare, the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital Credentials Office administers rules and regulations, ensures accreditation compliance, and provides a wide range of support to practitioners here.
The Medical Staff Services office, as it is known in the private sector, ensures that health care professionals are qualified to do their jobs.
In the military world, this department is called "Credentials" and our hospital staff professionals here have been repeatedly recognized by professional organizations for their commitment to patient care and safety through key accreditations, certifications and partnerships.
Today many medical staff service professionals are striving to promote efficiency and professionalism in health care by working through the legal, financial and regulatory requirements that have increased along with new challenges and opportunities in the health care industry.
Years ago anyone could receive a medical degree and start a private practice. There was not a system in place to protect the patient from incompetent practitioners.
But on October 29, 1992, President George Bush issued a proclamation designating the first week of November as "National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week."
The Credentials Office was developed as a way to closely monitor practitioners. Some of the major tasks include: appointment/reappointment, privileging, monitoring the ongoing competencies, training, development of credentialing criteria, maintaining medical staff bylaws, assuring the medical staff complies with Joint Commission standards and Federal and State health care regulations, fair hearing procedures, and problem solving.
Credentials and Privileges
The difference between "credentials" and "privileges" is often confused. The term "credentials" refers to the training, experience and education one has.
"Privileges" refer to the services granted to perform the duties in which practitioners are trained.
Practitioners at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital have undergone a thorough review to ensure your patient care is of the highest quality.
The Credentials Office works diligently behind the scenes to check all aspects of a practitioner's education, training and competence.
This criteria determines whether membership with our facility is awarded and privileges to treat our patients granted.
Medical staff coordinators from the Credentials Office here help promote the quality and efficiency of your health care and are an important member of your Patient-Centered Medical Home system-for-health team.
(Editor's note: By Sheila Ham is the Credentials Office chief at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital)