It’s generally assumed that patients can trust their doctors and that they are who they say they are. We get warm fuzzy feelings when we walk into their offices or log onto their websites and see a beautiful display of framed degrees, awards, and certificates. Social media reviews assure us that we made the right choice, and we trust these individuals with our lives; but should we?
Most of us have watched the 2002 movie Bourne Identity, and watched in awe as a “regular joe” passed as a doctor (among other professions) and performed invasive procedures without formal training, education, or credentials. Popcorn in mouth and shaking our heads, we saw how easily he forged his documents and took on fake personas and somehow, felt a little let down when he was caught.
Yet this scenario is playing out in real life, and we’re doing nothing about it. In fact, most Americans are unaware of these possibilities and are unsure how to prevent their loved ones from going under the knife of such a “doctor.”
Most would be happy to know that hospitals employ a Medical Staff Services department which credentials each provider before they can attain membership or privileges at their facilities. Extensive research on each applicant is conducted and presented to department chairs, credentials committees, and medical executive committees for recommendation before being forwarded to the board of directors for approval. This process is articulate and examines education, training, outcomes, licensure, certification, criminal background, peer references, and affiliation verification along with state and federal compliance searches.
Yet not every doctor is associated with a facility, or credentialed by a highly trained team. Although the majority of this information is not available to the public without the provider’s signed release, many processes can be completed in your home by doing your own research.
This is where the website “KNOW before you go” comes into play. We recognize that some patients may be new to the process of choosing a healthcare provider, and quite possibly, to insurance claims that result. We offer a brief overview of options that are available and suggestions in how to research your care before you book the appointment. Things such as license verification, in or out of network benefits, and facility reviews are among the items provided.
CHECK US OUT and KNOW before you go: