Medical Staff & HR Alignment in 2022 and Beyond

Director of Healthcare Solutions

An entire healthcare organization can benefit when medical staff services and HR align.

A medical staff services office comprises medical staff professionals (MSPs) and credentialing specialists. They are responsible for credentialing and privileging medical staff members, keeping up with medical staff bylaws, and more.

In contrast, HR managers and employees are often responsible for promoting employee hiring and retention initiatives, managing financial matters such as payroll, and making sure healthcare regulations are followed.

By design, medical staff bylaws and HR policies are different, and they often work with different sections of the workforce. Medical staff services work closely with physicians while HR works with nurses and other healthcare employees.

Here are some of the benefits demonstrating why medical staff services and healthcare HR should align their efforts in 2022 and beyond. 

Fewer Redundancies

When medical staff services and HR align, they can coordinate the processes they use to onboard and check staff credentials. These processes range from paperwork to background checks.

For example, HR runs criminal background checks on most incoming employees while the medical staff services office is encouraged to perform background checks as part of the credentialing process. By aligning their efforts, both departments can use the same background screening process to remain compliant, saving the facility time and funds.

“Both departments are similar in what they have to do to certify credentials and check out a physician’s history,” says Aileen Kiska Brooks, Partner and Healthcare Attorney at Malecki Brooks Law Group LLC. “They can make sure they aren’t going to create redundancy in those processes.”

Better Patient Safety

That lack of redundancy can, in turn, have a profound impact on patient safety because the two departments share information, Brooks says. And Cisive’s research on alignment shows the two departments do share information, at least on background checks. Our Talent Screening Trends in Healthcare 2022 whitepaper found that three-fourths (75.44%) of respondents are very or somewhat confident that their HR and medical staff services’ background screening policies are aligned. Approximately 83% felt it was very or somewhat important that their HR and medical staff services’ background screening policies be aligned.

By effectively sharing information and working closely together, patients benefit from a safer environment. Neglecting to share information can lead to increased patient harm. “Facilitating communication between these groups keeps everyone on the same page and reduces the risk for medical error,” says Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer and OB/GYN at Winona.

Increased Staff Retention

By establishing clear lines of communication and collaborative working relationships between the departments, medical staff services and HR can work together to identify and address the needs of physicians and hospital staff. These needs include training and any additional education staff members may need.

LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of surveyed employees responded that they would stay longer if a company invested in helping them learn.

“This coordinated approach helps hospitals improve their bottom-line results,” says Chris Lewandowski, President of Princess Dental Staffing. “In turn, they attract and retain top talent, cutting back on unnecessary expenses and increasing their profits.”

The Case for Alignment

While there are some challenges to aligning medical staff services and HR offices completely since they often work with different sections of the workforce, there are many benefits to doing so for employees, patients, and, ultimately, the facility’s bottom line. Entire healthcare organizations can improve when medical staff services and HR align their efforts.