Medical Staff Services Manager – Required Skills?

Woman_computer Job postings reveal a considerable amount about how a position is viewed and understood in an organization.  From time to time I look at postings in the Medical / Professional Staff Services field, just to see what those writing the job ads consider essential skills for the positions. 

The results can be as different as night and day.  Granted, the role may vary, but not as much as these recent examples from similarly sized and similarly situated hospitals, may indicate:

Hospital A 

250 beds, 550 physicians, suburb of a large metropolitan area

Position:  Manager, Medical Staff Services


  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Associate’s degree in business or related field, or graduate from a secretarial program preferred.
  • Ability to coordinate credentialing and recredentialing and maintain medical staff bylaws
  • Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist or Certified Professional in Medical Services Management preferred.
  • Prior experience and medical terminology preferred.
  • Excellent communication and strong computer skills (i.e., Word, Excel)


Hospital B

185 beds, 500 physicians, suburb of a large metropolitan area

Position:  Manager, Medical Staff Services


  • Bachelors degree in business administration or a health care field is strongly preferred.
  • Eight years of directly related experience in Medical Staff Services could substitute for degree
  • Three years of Medical Staff Services experience is required, with supervisory experience preferred
  • Ability to organize and direct a comprehensive and specialized credentialing program to assure continued accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) and other regulatory organizations.
  • CPMSM (Certified Professional in Medical Services Management) is required.


Hospital C

210 beds, 500 physicians, suburb of a large metropolitan area

Position:  Manager, Medical Staff Services


  • Bachelor’s or Associate Degree
  • 3-5 years experience as a Medical staff services professional within a hospital setting preferred
  • Knowledge of the components of the US healthcare delivery system 
  • Computer skills, communication skills
  • Working knowledge of Medical staff credentialing and organizational structures
  • Ability to develop and implement methods and procedures for improvement of the comprehensive and specialized credentialing program.
  • Certification as a Certified Provider Medical Service Management (CPMSM) and /or Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS)required.


The moral to this story, for those of you seeking qualified applicants to manage the important functions of Medical Staff Administration in your organization, is understand what the role involves and write a job ad that will attract those qualified applicants. And if you happen to have an excellent Medical Staff Services professional on your staff, respect their knowledge and abilities; it can be quite a challenge to find another one.

Free Healthcare Administration Quizzes Coming Soon

The free online healthcare administration quizzes that were previously posted on the Simple Data Solutions web site are being reviewed and revised.  The first set will be released within the next ten days. 

The quizzes, which are designed to be learning and memory aids, have a  medical staff services administration focus, and require both Java and Flash.  I've posted a test quiz here, so you can confirm that you have both enabled on your browser. 

Initial topics for the Healthcare Administration Quizzes will include:

  • Administration & Management
  • Federal Legislation
  • Legal System
  • Legal Terminology
  • Medical Staff Services Terminology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Roberts Rules of Order

I've received numerous requests to re-post the quizzes, and I hope that many of you will find them useful.  Watch for a go-live announcement on this site. 


PHI Security Breaches Posted by DHHS under HITECH Rules

As required by section 13402(e)(4) of the HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health), the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary must post a list of breaches of unsecured Protected Health Information (PHI) affecting 500 or more individuals.

At this time nearly fifty breaches have been reported by hospitals, private practices, health insurance plans, and clinics. 

Click here to see the most current list.

National Patient Safety Awareness Week March 7-13, 2010

National Patient Safety Week in the US is March 7-13, 2010. 

This year, to promote patient safety The Joint Commission will give away 20 copies of “YOU: The Smart Patient,” and a new book “The Smart Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents.” 

Both books are written for the general public in easy to understand language to help consumers become informed patients and patient advocates.  Get entered in the book drawing by taking The Joint Commission’s online patient safety quiz.

The National Patient Safety Foundation provides a list of online patient safety resources.

Read Ben Dillon’s summary of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s closing comments at the HIMSS Conference held last week in Atlanta.


Risk Management Role in Medical Error Disclosure

The call comes in on the hospital’s Sentinel Event hotline.  “This is Nurse Jones; I’m calling to report an unanticipated death in the OR.  It appears an error was made…”

Phone Risk Management immediately begins an investigation. Staff will be interviewed; equipment may be sequestered and tested; records will be meticulously reviewed.  While all of that is occurring, and often before the facts of the matter are fully understood, there is also the issue of what to tell grieving family members who understandably want answers. 

While the actual discussion with the family should, in most cases, be led by the attending physician, Risk Managers often set the tone.  It is one of the most difficult situations that families and healthcare providers will ever face. 

What happens though when risk management and clinicians are at odds about what should be disclosed and how the conversation should unfold? Disagreements among key staffers at such a difficult time can only add to the angst everyone is already feeling.   

Physicians may believe that risk managers want them to cover over error in order to protect the financial interests of the hospital.  Risk managers on the other hand, don’t want clinicians to hastily accept responsibility beyond what the known facts support.

However, as Grena Porto, Senior Director of Clinical Consulting, wrote in The Risk Manager’s Role in Disclosure of Medical Error: Seeing Ourselves as Others See Us in 2001, in reality the goals of both sides are often closely aligned. 

“Risk managers must…make concerted efforts to educate physicians about the role of risk management in management of medical errors, including disclosure.”

Victoria Forlini notes in a recent article for Fierce Health that “A new study looking at medical errors shows that while risk managers are more likely to want an error disclosed to a patient, a physician is more likely to want to issue an apology.”

“Hospital policy also needs to state who has final authority over disclosure and how these disclosures occur.”

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