The Changing Role of the Medical Services Professional

Marketing Director

Through the constantly changing healthcare landscape, the role of the Medical Services Professional (MSP) has evolved over time to meet the demands of the industry. I recently had the opportunity to participate in the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) webinar, “The MSP Career Pathway: How Do You Advance?” The presenter, Donna Goestenkors, President at Team Med Global Healthcare Consulting, discussed the value that MSPs bring to the workplace and how they can thrive in the industry’s new environment.

Consider the following top takeaways from Goestenkors’ presentation and how they may apply to your current role in Medical Staff Services.

Patient Safety is at the Heart of the Medical Services Profession

MSPs are sometimes referred to as the “gatekeepers of patient safety,” and Goestenkors agrees. “Every day is patient safety day,” she says. “[MSPs] truly want to provide practitioners that are going to provide quality patient care to the public.” Credentialing, recredentialing, privileging, and performance improvement are four key staples of the work MSPs do that adds value to healthcare organizations because they are all centered around patient safety.

MSPs can play a key role in hospital quality, and Goestenkors recommends monitoring the following key factors that can affect healthcare quality:

  • Core measures
  • Patient safety indicators
  • Mortality
  • 30-day readmission

More Collaboration with Human Resources and Less Silos

With a greater number of healthcare organizations employing and contracting physicians, Human Resources is becoming an important partner for Medical Staff Services. MSPs need to know what employed physicians are being held to and any rules they must follow. The future of Medical Staff Services is less siloed with increased collaboration with HR. “Have a working knowledge of the recruiting and hiring practices as well as the disciplinary and termination processes,” Goestenkors recommends. “Understand how they may or may not correlate with your medical staff process.”

The Move to Multi-Dimensional Organizations

With healthcare mergers and acquisitions becoming more common, MSPs are shifting from a single facility environment to being an extension of a larger healthcare system. Processes must be adapted for scalability in a much more systemized manner for both consistency and efficiency. This includes optimizing background screening processes to ensure standards are met across different facilities and departments. If one facility’s medical staff services department is running different types of background checks from another’s, issues could arise such as inconsistent decision-making. As healthcare systems increase in size, standardization of processes becomes critical for maximizing efficiency and mitigating risk.

Financial Accountability in the Future

The medical staff services role has increased financial implications as the healthcare industry continues its transition to value-based care. MSPs can expect greater involvement in revenue-impacting areas such as coding, payer enrollment, and billing. Goestenkors suggests meeting with the chief financial officer to get a better background on what’s happening in these areas. “Everything in healthcare is about how we can reduce costs, save money, and function at a higher level,” she says.

The MSP role has evolved over the years, but patient safety will remain at the heart of the profession. In order to thrive in the future, however, MSPs must develop a variety of skills as collaboration across departments and standardization of processes will become more common. 

How do you think the MSP role is changing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below‒we’d love to hear from you!

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