Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Credentialing in hospitals is the first line of defense for improving patient safety and reducing medical errors by verifying a physician's medical knowledge and skills. There is no single set of standards for physician credentialing followed by all hospitals in the United States. Using May's normalization process theory, the purpose of this quantitative study was to survey medical services professionals (MSPs) to determine which physician credentialing standards were being used, the sources being used, and the frequency of standards used. The dependent variables in this study were the 13 ideal credentialing standards developed by the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS). The independent variables were the methods MSPs use to satisfy the credentialing standard, or the way in which a hospital performs this function. The independent variables were measured using Likert-scale responses (always, almost always, sometimes, almost never, and never) and the dependent variables were measured by frequency of responses to each standard. A questionnaire was sent to 5,634 members of NAMSS. Findings from 364 responses indicated every facility had at least 1% of MSPs who almost never or never performed a particular standard in accordance with the ideal credentialing standards. A distribution table was used to measure the results, both individually and percentages of the total. To determine if there was a difference in credentialing standards based on hospital size or geographic location, a chi square was used. The results of this study demonstrated there are areas for improvement in physician credentialing. Results may be used to safeguard the public from fraudulent representation through implementation of a national credentialing standard.