Professional references are required to meet health care facility licensing and accreditation standards. Participating facilities rely on MPR to obtain three professional references in completing an initial appointment application. Many participating facilities require one professional reference at the time of reappointment to meet specific accreditation standards.
Professional references are a key component to the credentialing effort as they offer the opportunity to attest to the current clinical competency (see previous blog – What is a CME Listing and Why is it necessary?) on any provider making initial appointment, at the time of reappointment if new clinical privileges are requested or if a new clinical privilege form is completed. MPR also uses professional references if additional privileges are requested by the provider outside an initial appointment or reappointment process.
The Joint Commission standards require a professional reference to address 6 separate competencies:
- Medical/Clinical Knowledge
- Technical and Clinical Skills
- Clinical Judgment
- Interpersonal Skills
- Communications Skills
It is for this reason MPR is not able to accept a general letter of recommendation from a professional colleague of the applicant/provider.
The MPR initial appointment application requests five professional references and the reappointment application requests two (2) professional references. Requesting additional reference names allows the MPR team to: 1) reduce our turn-around-time by taking the first three references returned at the time of initial appointment and 2) use additional references listed when references don’t respond to our request or feel they are unable to attest to the clinical competency of the provider.
If you were to ask any CVO in the nation what is the most common obstacle of completing a credentialing file, the answer will most likely be obtaining professional references. MPR greatly appreciates the dedicated efforts of the office/practice managers and credentialing contacts as they are often able to assist in notifying the professional references listed on the application prior to the request being made. These contacts reduce the turn-around-time of providing a completed credentialing file to the health care facility and thus expedites the process of allowing the provider to begin practice. That is a win for MPR and a win for the provider!