Avoiding Delay In Hospital Credentialing

Credentialing at any hospital can be a time intensive and a frustrating process. Doing locum tenens work on the side, I have already been through this process several times in the past year. In order to minimize any time delay between submitting the application and being credentialed, there are some documents that should be readily available to submit upon request. I’ve created a list of all documents needed by most hospitals to streamline the process. Below are the list of items most often needed to be included in your work folder for credentialing.


Create A Folder For All Your Documents

Even though we all get a paper copy of all of our important documents, almost every organization will ask for an electronic copy. You need a folder on your computer to store and organize all of your information.  Since these are sensitive documents, consider encrypting these hard drives to keep everything as private as possible.

Unfortunately, the standard windows 10 home edition does have the option built-in to encrypt folders. Instead, you have the option of setting up passwords for specific files or the operating system upon starting up. Though this method is not as secure as encryption, it is better than no password at all.


This is the printer that I use to upload and scan my documents. It has the option to easily plug in a USB to directly scan to PDF on a portable USB. It’s easy to make a PDF copy of the 50+ page files given by locum tenens companies to keep for my records.


Items To Put In Your Folder

  • Medical Diploma
  • Internship and Fellowship Certificates (if applicable and completed at a different institution from residency)
  • Residency Certificate
  • ECFMG Certificate (if applicable)
  • Board Certificate
  • Case logs
  • Recent TB test
  • Immunizations
  • CV
  • Color copy of a Government Issued ID
  • Professional color photo
  • Visa/Passport (If Applicable)
  • Current and prior malpractice insurance
  • Copy of all active medical licenses
  • Most recent flu vaccine
  • CME within the past 2 years
  • Copy of social security card
  • NPI, DEA registration numbers


Medical Malpractice Insurance

Each job will ask about current or past malpractice coverage for credentialing. Most residents/fellows forget to ask for proof of coverage after graduation. Ask your residency and fellowship program for proof of insurance soon after graduation. At the end of each job (including each locum tenens job), I add for malpractice insurance paperwork to be included into my folder.

If I ever were unfortunate enough to be listed in a lawsuit, I would have easy access to proof of coverage for all the different jobs I’ve had. Make your life as simple as possible by maintaining  and routinely updating your collection of essential paperwork.


Avoid Delays To Credentialing

Having all of these items ready will avoid any unnecessary delays to credentialing. A few of my colleagues have quit their jobs to take a new positions in other surrounding states. Unfortunately, their start dates were delayed by 2 months since they submitted insufficient documentation for these jobs. They ended up missing the date where the hospital committee meets to determine credentialing. As a result, they had no income and were sitting around for more than a month while they waited for credentialing to be approved.

Avoid any delays by having all of this documentation easily accessible.


Keep A Digital And Paper Copy

Even though most jobs have moved to digital copies, I still have a physical folder in my house to store important documents. I’m still a bit cautious of the “cloud” services and storing these documents here. Security methods seem questionable to me on the “cloud” and I avoid these services for any sensitive information. Be as proactive as you would like, but with a large security breach making the public news every few months, I take as much control as possible over my privacy.


Staying organized will save you time, relief from headaches, and keep your life simple for any situation that arises. Applying to new jobs via locum tenens takes only a few minutes since I already have the folder ready to go.

2 thoughts on “Avoiding Delay In Hospital Credentialing

  • September 21, 2017 at 7:50 AM

    Honestly credentialling is one of my least favorite activities. I have been doing it since I started moonlighting 10 years ago! I too have a electronic file of all this important stuff. My plan for now is to stay At the same job until I hit financial independence, then I may consider part time hospitalist work.

    • September 21, 2017 at 6:28 PM

      Credentialing is frustrating and can feel like one of the worse organized events ever. I decided to make the list after having my email flooded with URGENT email subjects that were asking for various parts of the credentialing process.


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