Healthcare staffing, an essential pillar of the U.S. healthcare system, involves a myriad of entities, including healthcare providers, facilities, staffing agencies, credentialing bodies and regulatory agencies. At the heart of this process lies the critical function of credentialing — the rigorous verification of clinician qualifications–and how the system is reimbursed. As the industry grapples with a profound staffing shortfall, all stakeholders in the healthcare industry need to focus on speeding up workers’ onboarding and time to bedside.
Presently, the healthcare staffing industry spends millions of dollars on credentialing as part of the process of qualifying travelers, and the process itself takes two to three weeks or longer, often involving manual processes and complex screenings. Manual processes can delay start dates and lead to missed placements. Credentialing costs are becoming even more expensive because of increasing passthrough fees in certain cases.
In light of recent challenges confronting the healthcare sector, the concept of a credential wallet has been discussed for years. The idea is straightforward–enable healthcare professionals to keep a repository of their own credentials that are maintained and even verified so that credentialing can be made a lot faster. Some have discussed leveraging blockchain technology as an approach to execute on the credential wallet concept.
A credential wallet has profound implications for efficiency, security, cost savings, and improved patient care. There have been multiple attempts to create a system of credential wallets for travelers in the industry. It’s time for the industry to take collective action for the benefit of everyone involved.
Implications for the healthcare staffing industry would include:
1. Time Efficiency: time spent on credentialing could fall dramatically. Travelers could save valuable time currently spent on paperwork, allowing them to focus more on patient care. Quicker verification would mean a faster, more responsive staffing process for staffing agencies and healthcare facilities.
2. Cost Savings: with this type of wallet, the cost of credentialing could also decrease significantly. Staffing agencies could save hundreds to thousands of dollars per clinician by eliminating repetitive verification procedures.
3. Interoperability: A universally recognized wallet standard could be used across various facilities, reducing the need for re-credentialing, enhancing flexibility for practitioners, and reducing administrative costs for institutions. It would make for simpler and more efficient audits, further reducing associated time and costs.
Despite these clear benefits, the transition to a credential wallet does pose challenges, such as privacy concerns, initial implementation costs, and the need for widespread acceptance. However, the potential savings in time and costs and increased security and efficiency make a compelling case for its adoption.
By adopting technology for credentialing, the U.S. healthcare staffing sector could realize substantial financial benefits, improve efficiency, enhance data security, and ultimately improve the delivery of patient care. Technology has advanced rapidly, and it’s time for the healthcare industry to take advantage of available efficiencies.
About Eric Ly
Eric Ly is the Founder & CEO of KarmaCheck, a first-of-its-kind company that uses data-driven technology to bring truth, speed, and efficiency to background checks. Ly is the cofounder of LinkedIn, a social networking platform, where he served as the chief technology officer. Ly helped launch LinkedIn from a strategic perspective and assisted with the architecture and implementation of specific aspects of the networking and search algorithms. Ly even acted as the vice president of desktop, building a team of professionals to lead the desktop integrations. Ly attended Stanford University, where he earned his bachelor of science in symbolic systems, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned his master of science in media arts and sciences. After earning his MS, Ly returned to Stanford to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science. After co-founding LinkedIn, Ly founded Presdo, Hub, KarmaCheck, and several other companies.