Credentialing and Clinical Privileges

1093 Words May 25th, 2012 5 Pages
Credentialing and Clinical Privileges
Shirley Willis
Florida Southern College

Credentialing and Clinical Privileges
With an ever-widening scope of practice and professional responsibility, more nurse practitioners are obtaining hospital privileges. Continuity of care is improved when nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses who care for patients in primary care settings can follow their patients and their families when they are admitted to the hospital. Complexities of care, coordination of care, and transitions into and out of the community during illness require a transparent and logical process that allows providers to gain access to the patients they have cared for and know best. Coordination of care
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In 1983, the Joint Commission opened medical staff membership to non-physician health care professionals, including APRNs, whom the Commission referred to as “limited license practitioners”. Hospitals may decide not to credential and privilege APRNS; that is, their bylaws may not address any non-physician providers at all. If hospital bylaws do address APRNs, the bylaws may include provisions for supervision of APRNS that are more restrictive than state laws. When physicians are required to supervise APRNs, the physician’s workload and perceived liability increase. When physicians are required to cosign all APRN orders, clinical care can be delayed (Brassard & Smolenski, 2011).
Several hospitals have welcomed APRNS, developing strategies to integrate and capitalize on their contributions. A few hospitals have set up committees to facilitate credentialing and incorporating APRNs within the institution while recognizing their unique contributions. These efforts help to educate all hospital staff on the valuable contribution APRNs make to the health care system and pave the way for full integration (Summers, 2012).
Many benefits of APRN hospital privileging include expanding consumer choice and access to care, improving continuity of care and inter-professional collaboration, increasing cost-effectiveness, and decreasing patient stressors. Patients transitioning from hospitals to community care benefit when APRNs have hospital privileges
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