Getting a healthcare center prepared for an Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) survey can be stressful. Along with reviewing policies and procedures, AAAHC surveyors expect to see complete and accurate records for patients, staff and providers.

Keeping certifications, licenses and credentials up to date is an essential part of showing compliance with AAAHC standards. A recent AAAHC report found that poorly managed credentialing files are one of the biggest barriers healthcare centers face in meeting AAAHC standards.

The problems with paper and spreadsheets

Traditional forms of healthcare policy management can make credentialing time-consuming and cumbersome. The sheer volume of paperwork is often too much for one person to manage. Paper files can easily get lost or damaged, and tracking down and organizing all the proper documents often requires healthcare organizations to bring in additional administrative help, which can cost thousands of dollars every year.

With some digital solutions for tracking AAAHC credentialing, things fall through the cracks. It’s easy to accidentally overlook due dates in an Excel spreadsheet, for example. Outdated or incomplete documents not only hurt an organization’s chances for accreditation, they also pose liability risks. An upcoming AAAHC survey can serve as a wake-up call for a healthcare center to get its documentation in order, but waiting until the last minute is risky. Effective, hands-on healthcare policy management will reduce risk, keep things running smoothly and make sure every staff member and provider is equipped (and fully licensed) to serve patients.

A better way

Using an electronic document management software like PowerDMS takes the stress out of preparing the paperwork for an AAAHC survey. Instead of rifling through filing cabinets or filling in column after column on a spreadsheet, administrators can easily compile a file folder for every provider—documenting credentialing, privileging, peer reviews and any other relevant records all in one place. PowerDMS’s cloud-based system means files are easy to find and can’t get lost or damaged.

PowerDMS allows administrators to set reminders of when each document needs to be reviewed or updated. The system automatically notifies administrators before a provider’s credentials expire, allowing healthcare centers to keep all documentation and licenses up to date.

PowerDMS also serves as a one-stop shop for the review and re-credentialing process. Administrators can create a to-do list for each document, set up an automated cycle to send the document to those who need to review it, and provide a complete audit trail to show who has signed off and made changes.

Using PowerDMS makes it possible to manage credentialing in-house. This cuts costs and administrative man hours. One surgery center in North Carolina reported that using PowerDMS for credentialing saved them 10 administrative hours each month. It also allowed them to stop using an outsourcing company for credentialing, saving more than $11,000 every two years just on re-credentialing.

Of course, managing accreditation files electronically requires far more than just maintaining credentialing records. Administrators can use PowerDMS to crosswalk the organization’s policies and documents to the AAAHC standards, making sure the facility is fully compliant.

When it comes time for the AAAHC survey, PowerDMS makes all documents centralized and easily accessible. AAAHC surveyors can log in from any mobile device and view the required documentation—from policies and procedures to credentialing and training records—all in one place. This allows them to get the information they need without having to travel back and forth from the organization’s facilities.

Don’t let poorly managed credentialing files derail your organization’s AAAHC survey. Use PowerDMS to mitigate risk, streamline the accreditation process and easily manage all things compliance.