Credentialing and Privileging
The cause of some patient safety incidents have been linked to inappropriately qualified or experienced practitioners, practitioners whose skills are not up to date or practitioners who have undertaken work which they were not appropriately qualified to do. In some cases, investigations have revealed that these practitioners had previously been involved in adverse events in other areas or jurisdictions but this information had not come to the light as part of the employment screening process.
The Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance recommended looking at the option of establishing a credentialing database which could be checked in advance of offering employment to asccertain a potential employees previous history. The Credentialing and Privileging project has concluded that the establishment of a credentialing database is a medium to longer term goal. However, an initial mapping exercise of current processes employed by regulatory bodies and health service employers regarding the registration status and competencies of professionals has identified scope for improvements. These concepts are being developed at present and include use of standard reference forms, availability of registration and fitness to practice information from regulatory bodies, routine checking and verification by employers of the qualification and employment details of job applicants and improved communication between the courts system and the regulatory bodies regarding convictions against regulated professionals on indictable offences.