Article

Make Your MSSD a Performance Powerhouse

Optimize and Right-size to Manage Better and Generate Revenue
5 minutes

Over the past several years, leading healthcare organizations have been reprioritizing the MSSD’s core functions with increasing levels of accountability. And now that demands on the MSSD have evolved, ensuring their success demands that MSSDs evolve accordingly.

Ready or Not, Change Is Here

The solid line that once connected the MSSD to the CMO, VPMA, or perhaps quality on the organization chart now sometimes points to leaders in finance, HR, operations and even marketing. And some departments are reporting or transitioning certain key functions to a more centralized corporate structure focused on standardization and onboarding practitioners more quickly.

While the evolution of medical staff services has been positive for the profession and for organizations, it can be overwhelming for new leaders who are not medical services professionals (MSPs). They may not have prior experience in the department, yet they have been called upon to chart the department’s course. In fact, it can be overwhelming even for seasoned MSSD leaders, given the amount of change happening across the industry.

As they try to answer questions about how many full-time employees (FTEs) to staff or what metrics they should use, these new leaders are learning that there are no easy answers and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

It's Time to Learn, Listen, and Leverage

Today’s MSSDs have moved far beyond their clerical origins and are now viewed as critical to hospital revenue, patient safety, and key drivers of practitioner satisfaction. As a result, MSSDs are facing increasing pressure to tighten operations and streamline credentialing, privileging and enrollment processes while maintaining quality.

Teams that can process credentialing and enrollment applications more efficiently enable physicians and advanced practice professionals to earn more quickly and reduce claims write-offs.

So what should a new MSSD leader focus on to optimize staff roles and processes? First, learn, listen, and leverage.

Learn: Ask Questions to Gather Input for Improving Efficiency

Whether someone is a senior MSP or a hospital executive assigned to oversee medical staff services, there are a few questions to consider that will lead to efficiency.

Who is responsible for what?

As departments focus on providing timely, efficient, and quality credentialing and privileging, they should update staff roles and duties with current priorities.

Why do some tasks extend beyond core functions?

Ask questions to determine if certain tasks can be eliminated because they are non-value-added or if further automation is possible. As more and more practitioners become employed, clerical duties such as ordering lab coats and badges, stocking the lounge and assigning parking spaces can be reassigned to a more appropriate department such as HR, operations, or facilities.

Who attends what meetings and why?

Junior staff members who are accountable for productivity results should spend no more than 10% of their time in meetings. Some meetings should be reassigned to departments that employ the true content experts, such as pharmacy and therapeutics, instead of having an individual from medical staff services manage the meeting and take minutes.


Listen: Ask Questions to Gather Input for Improving Efficiency

Whether someone is a senior MSP or a hospital executive assigned to oversee medical staff services, there are a few questions to consider that will lead to efficiency.

Who is responsible for what?

As departments focus on providing timely, efficient, and quality credentialing and privileging, they should update staff roles and duties with current priorities.

Why do some tasks extend beyond core functions?

Ask questions to determine if certain tasks can be eliminated because they are non-value-added or if further automation is possible. As more and more practitioners become employed, clerical duties such as ordering lab coats and badges, stocking the lounge and assigning parking spaces can be reassigned to a more appropriate department such as HR, operations, or facilities.

Who attends what meetings and why?

Junior staff members who are accountable for productivity results should spend no more than 10% of their time in meetings. Some meetings should be reassigned to departments that employ the true content experts, such as pharmacy and therapeutics, instead of having an individual from medical staff services manage the meeting and take minutes.


Leverage: Ask Questions to Gather Input for Improving Efficiency

Whether someone is a senior MSP or a hospital executive assigned to oversee medical staff services, there are a few questions to consider that will lead to efficiency.

Who is responsible for what?

As departments focus on providing timely, efficient, and quality credentialing and privileging, they should update staff roles and duties with current priorities.

Why do some tasks extend beyond core functions?

Ask questions to determine if certain tasks can be eliminated because they are non-value-added or if further automation is possible. As more and more practitioners become employed, clerical duties such as ordering lab coats and badges, stocking the lounge and assigning parking spaces can be reassigned to a more appropriate department such as HR, operations, or facilities.

Who attends what meetings and why?

Junior staff members who are accountable for productivity results should spend no more than 10% of their time in meetings. Some meetings should be reassigned to departments that employ the true content experts, such as pharmacy and therapeutics, instead of having an individual from medical staff services manage the meeting and take minutes.

Although MSSDs have a high degree of variability in their scope of work, they should all have the same three-prong purpose: balancing patient, safety, practitioner success and organizational success.

The Power of Numbers

A clear set of metrics is vital for measuring the efficiency of an MSSD’s core functions. Although MSSDs have a high degree of variability in their scope of work, they should all have the same three-prong purpose: balancing patient safety, practitioner success and organizational success.

This means incorporating industry best practices while ensuring compliance with policies and regulatory/accreditor requirements for credentialing and privileging and payers for enrollment. MSSDs must focus on helping the organization grow revenue and avoid unnecessary losses, and they must ensure practitioners are satisfied with the credentialing, privileging and onboarding process.

To these points, the following KPIs tie directly to compliance, provider satisfaction and revenue, or are indicators of challenges that must be addressed.

 


© 2022 Chartis Clinical Quality Solutions. All rights reserved. This content draws on the research and experience of Chartis consultants and other sources. It is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors. It does not constitute legal advice.

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