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The 3 biggest healthcare onboarding time drains and how to solve them!

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As the country moves on from COVID-19, the NHS and healthcare industry as a whole is still feeling the impacts, especially on resource management. 

Since the early 90s, medical resourcing has been increasingly strained. The closure of medical schools was one of the primary drivers, requiring healthcare organisations to explore international recruitment. 

With the increased recruitment and resource management complexity, the strain on onboarding, specifically credentialing, has also increased. The CQC has helped drive credentialing standards to ensure that clinicians, regardless of where they were educated and worked, meet the same high standards.

A refined and effective onboarding system can positively impact a healthcare organisation, not just at the point of onboarding but for months or years. 

However, thanks to the compliance complexity required, combined with the nature of the roles being recruited for, onboarding is often a frustrating experience for both candidates and organisations. There are several hoops that both sides are expected to jump through.

In this article, we are going to explore the 3 biggest healthcare onboarding time drains and how to solve them. 

1- Endless Paperwork

The problem with onboarding administration and credentialing is that most processes are still based on spreadsheets and paperwork. The processes that onboarding is based on are generally obsolete and no longer fit for purpose. 

Onboarding and credentialing systems were designed when there was less recruitment velocity when more administrative resources were available, and most importantly, when the credentialing process was far more simplified.

The new GDPR laws have only compounded the issue. Most of the documentation collected for each resource will have personal data elements that need to be tracked. So just having the documentation itself (or copies of it) will lead to more paperwork being created.

When paper is used, it means that the process needs to be managed at one specific location, so it makes onboarding an increased burden to a selected few resources, which can lead to bottlenecks as recruitment spikes. 

Additionally, it requires the candidate to deliver and send physical copies of each document, which also slows down the system. This can add weeks to a process, as documentation is being transported from one location to another.

Any location-dependent process is not very conducive to a pandemic or post-pandemic environment. If the administration and credentialing team, and/or the candidates are sick with COVID, the process stalls or is paused.

The solution

The obvious solution would be to move to a paperless, online process. The Credentially platform, for example, allows candidates to post copies of documentation, avoiding delays with postage. 

It also allows credentialing teams to store all documents and personal data in one secure location. A cloud-based solution like this removes the need to meet face-to-face, which means the process is not interrupted by COVID.

This saves so much time. Not just the time saved from not meeting face-to-face or postage, but in time spent having to manually update records and folders and documents are received and verified. The platform manages most of this process, making it more time efficient.

If you are moving to a cloud-based data storage solution combined with your credentialing software, you’ll want to ensure that the data is protected and secure. At Credentially, we meet all security requirements and more. Here are some of the technical specifications we meet:

2 - Communicating with candidates

Recruiting and onboarding clinical candidates is unlike any other process. It requires extensive communication with the candidate before being selected for an interview. The candidate applies for a role from a jobs portal or healthcare website. 

The healthcare organisation will start by verifying specific professional certifications and experience to validate the candidate's compliance with the requirements of the role before they’re invited for an interview. This will require communication back and forth between the recruiter and the candidate. 

Upon a successful interview stage and having been offered the role, the healthcare organisation will then need to complete a full credentialing process, to verify the candidate, before they can start. This includes getting documentation from third parties, but often the candidate will be asked to provide the documents themselves.

So, candidate communication is an essential component of the process. This part of the credentialing process is normally managed with spreadsheets and done via email or phone. It is labour intensive and difficult to manage as effectively as possible. 

The solution

The answer is to lean on technology. Credentialing platforms allow the user to set up each specific credentialing process and then will send out automated email messages to candidates asking for specific documentation to be uploaded. 

A platform such as Credentially also automates the reminder process, escalating how often emails are sent to candidates and making the process as efficient as possible. 

When you combine credentialing new candidates with re-credentialing and keeping the existing workforce compliant, that is a lot of communication to manually execute and track. Having a platform that can do it all for you saves hours, if not weeks of time. 

But additionally, it’s so much more productive because ensures all reminders are sent on time, so it helps move the process along as efficiently as possible.

3 - Tracking credentialing 

This final time drain is the most significant in many ways. It’s the manual tracking of all credentialing in an organisation or department. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as onboarding new candidates and checking their credentials are up-to-date. Every clinical staff member will require annual credentialing. For Primary care trusts or hospitals, this could be thousands and thousands of resources that require credentialing throughout the year. Then there are bank staff or flexible resourcing solutions where a number of resources are required to stay compliant throughout the year in case they’re needed. 

Depending on the role and certification of the medical staff member, the credentialing process will differ. So not only are administration teams expected to manually track and execute 1000s of credentialing processes but they are expected to know each process and what the requirements are, to stay compliant.

With the limited resources the credentialing teams have to work with, it’s no wonder that a 3-4 week credentialing process can take longer than  2-3 months. It’s a thankless task that never gets easier.

The solution

Unsurprisingly, the answer lies in using the right software solution. Having a system that knows the regulations for credentialing and knows when credentials will expire, can start the re-credentialing process automatically. Leaving resources to track the process and fire-fight any potential problems with specific resources as the system does most of the heavy lifting.

As we discussed previously, not only will a platform like Credentially track and start re-credentialing automatically, but it will also send the emails and follow-up emails on auto-pilot. 

The credentialing team have access to dashboards where they can track credentialing metrics that are important to them, to ensure they stay compliant or to be able to easily forecast potential problems ahead of time.

The Key Takeaways

The most important takeaway from this article is that current credentialing systems are mostly antiquated. They were designed when there was less compliance to manage and fewer resources to keep compliant.

The answer is technology. Almost all the problems a credentialing team faces have been solved by a platform like Credentially. It’s been built by industry experts who understand the complexities of credentialing and all the data is secured in the cloud.

How can you automate compliance?
Easy, contact Credentially to find out more.
Book a Demo
Our client case studies
Learn how Dr Fertility have made their compliance process simple in preparation for their CQC inspection and the ability to evidence compliance quickly for inspectors.

Find out how Urgent Care provider HUC has drastically reduced time to hire down to as little as three days by automating credentialing and onboarding processes.

3 Reasons Providers Fail CQC Inspections

1
“No system to ensure all staff have full pre-employment checks completed”
2
“Failure to deploy adequate numbers of suitably qualified staff”
3
“No system in place to review and communicate role-specific training or policies to staff”

Are you CQC ready?

Yes
No
1. Do you think there is there a link between staffing and the ability to deliver safe, effective services?
2. Do you have any digital tools, such as online staff management, that can help get the right people on duty at the right time?
3. Can you automate key aspects of employee onboarding to ensure the right mix of skills is available within your teams?
4. Can you evidence documents, DBS checks, right to work checks, certifications, training records, policies and reporting for CQC inspectors?
5. Is all your documentation regularly kept up to date?
6. Do your staff understand their responsibilities and how well can they link their work back to current guidelines and best practices?
7. Can you evidence that policies are communicated to staff and they are read and understood?
8. Do you have a digital document management system in place to ‘send and sign’ new or amended policies or documents to staff?
9. Do you record staff training and development that you can show CQC inspectors?
10. Can you provide clear evidence of how you are developing and improving your services?

Take Action

More than 5 no's?
If you answered 'no' to any of the questions then you need onboarding and credentialing software to help you get CQC compliant.
How your competitors fixed it
Between 3-5 no's?
If you answered a mix of 'yes' and 'no' then you need to improve compliance in time for your CQC inspection.
Learn how to be CQC ready
Less than 2 no's?
It sounds like you’ve got a grip on things, but did you know you can automate compliance and credentialing to further improve processes and impress CQC?
Take it to the next level

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