A faculty group practice-driven credentialing and privileging infrastructure in a school of dental medicine.
ABSTRACT Credentialing and assigning clinical privileges are well-established practices in institutions that need to verify a clinician's ability to provide direct patient care services. The credentialing process verifies a provider's credentials to practice his or her profession, while privileging authorizes the individual to perform enumerated procedures within a specific scope of practice. All clinical faculty members at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) practice in the Faculty Group Practice (FGP). Because of the number of practitioners in the FGP, the organization instituted a more formal process of credentialing that verifies that practitioners are not only licensed to practice, but also are competent to provide direct patient care. In contrast to other dental schools that have established similar protocols, HSDM approached the process not from the academic side, but rather from the clinical practice side, explicitly taking into account whether the FGP could accommodate another practitioner when an academic department wished to appoint a new faculty member. In doing so, we had to be careful to reconcile our educational and research needs with those of the FGP. In this article, we describe how, within this framework, we established a credentialing and privileging program in which all full- and part-time faculty members, as well as advanced graduate students, were included.