Medical credentialing is the process performed to protect the public from substandard and incompetent health care practitioners such as Doctors, physicians, nurses etc. These health care practitioners make errors that ultimately led to problems with patient safety and high quality care. In fact, superficial and inadequate credentials review and evaluation are practices that can be fought with future risk management problems.

The process of removing an incompetent practitioner from the medical staff can be lengthy, emotionally and professionally exhausting, and fiscally damaging to a hospital. Some experts estimate that nearly 7% of physician applications contain some falsification. Listening to all these facts and the dangers attached to a human life, the importance of medical credentialing process to catch the inconsistencies cannot be overestimated at any cost.

In addition, an ineffective credentialing process can be financially problematic for a hospital. If a hospital does not properly credential a physician who ultimately causes harm to a patient, the hospital can be held liable of a medical malpractice lawsuit and also been financially accountable for the physician's actions. Three extremely aching things will happen after that;

1. A hospital will lose its reputation once and forever.

2. The trust of a patient in any other medical practitioner will be lost.

3. Sever financial loss due to malpractice litigation and people can also be sent to prison for that medical negligence.

On the other hand and on a positive side, comprehensive medical credentialing done on the principals of primary source verification cannot only boost the reputation of a hospital and its physicians but also they have been mentioned voluntarily by the patients about their higher standards, quality service and excellent patient safety measures.

What are the 5 Primary Source Verification Methods which strengthens the Medical Credentialing Process?

Doctors and medical staff background check and medical credentialing through primary source verification method is a process which needs expertise, experience and care. As the credentials are being verified from the source of origin and its the origin verification that means the process will be authentic and without doubts. For example, this may include medical schools, licensing agencies, and specialty boards to guarantee that statements about training, experience and other qualifications are legitimate, unchallenged and appropriate.

In primary source verification method, medical credentialing background check companies directly contacts a medical school or state medical board to verify education and licensure, respectively. The core criteria defined as;

Professional Qualification, Training and Experience Verification

Educational qualification and all related elements can be verified by sending letters to each institution individually (school, training program, specialty board, etc.). Independent medical credentialing and background screening companies are helpful in this regard as they are fast and accurate.

Perform Medical License Verification:

What can be revealed when doing medical credentialing via primary source verification. Mentioned in 6 points below,

• State of licensure, license number, date of original licensure and expiration date

• Name (first and last) of the person initiating the verification call

• Name (first and last) of the person verifying the information

• Are there any current, past, or pending restrictions on the license?

• Are there any current, past, or pending disciplinary actions against the practitioner?

Current Competence verification

Competence assessment is an important part of medical credentialing and it is carried out on initial appointment and at least every two years thereafter, normally at the time of reappointment/reappraisal. Competency Verification can be sent to the Medical Director of the hospital under whom the person has worked in recent past.

Mental and Physical ability to perform requested Privileges:

Clinical privileges are limited by the individual's professional license, experience, and competence. And ability of performing specific patient care, an adequate amount of work knowledge and minimum experience should be judged via references and patient medical records.

Criminal offence or Sexual Harassment Records Check:

There are many criminal offence and sexual harassment/abuse cases registered every year. Doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical practitioners are being punished and their licenses have been revoked. So its essential to check criminal background and sex offender records of a person to ensure the patient safety.


The above discussion and the primary source verification practice define the quality of medical credentialing which is directly proportional to patient safety. Medical credentialing is a tough task to handle, as it holds fatal risks. So its essential for the medical staff recruitment agencies and employers that they take help of credentialing and background check companies, which are resourceful, experienced, fast and accurate. It cannot only save a lot of hiring time and cost but it will help saying innocent human lives.

Author's Bio: 

Muhammad Saad Khan is a Writer, Social Media and Business Management Thought Leader Working with Data Flow Group, the world's leading primary source verification company headquartered in Singapore. His current research is about How Medical Credentialing via Primary Source Verification is helpful in saving human lives.