Credentialing & Privileging

Tip of the week: Organize medical staff meeting agendas

Credentialing Resource Center Insider, March 2, 2012

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The medical staff office (MSO) at Scottsdale (AZ) Healthcare Osborn Medical Center is responsible for an average of 20 medical staff committee meetings per month. As a result, it’s common for Shirley Petry, medical staff services coordinator, and her coworkers to get several calls per day regarding items on a meeting agenda.

“Just yesterday, three people called about three different meetings, asking to add agenda topics that won’t occur until two months from now,” says Petry.

Because there’s not always time when a call comes in to stop, pull out the corresponding meeting file that the caller is referring to, and put the appropriate documentation in that folder, Petry developed a form to make the aforementioned steps unnecessary. The new agenda topic form sits next to the phone, and when someone calls regarding an agenda item, this form is used to collect the pertinent information. It includes such items as:

  • Name of committee
  • Date of meeting
  • Contact information of requestor
  • Who will be presenting
  • If there will be handouts or the use of audio/visual equipment
  • Objective of the discussion

“This helps me be more organized,” says Petry. “It is a checklist to make sure I am covering everything.”

At the end of the day, Petry will take each new filled-out agenda topic form and place it in the appropriate meeting folder. If she is having a busy day, she does not have to think about the agenda topic, but knows when she goes back to the folder at a later date, there will be a reminder in there that can jog her memory.

When it comes time to sit down with the committee chairs to set agendas, Petry pulls out the corresponding forms, which gives the chairperson an organized and detailed overview of what he or she needs to know about a topic before placing it on the agenda.

One part of the form that is helpful to health systems with multiple campuses (such as Scottsdale Healthcare) is the audio-visual set-up checklist. Petry says the system now holds video conference meetings between its three campuses, so knowing ahead of time what technology pieces will be required for a meeting is important.

The form also helps MSOs to be flexible when sharing responsibilities. If one member of the office is out sick or leaves, the form makes it easier for another member to take over. This is something Petry learned about 13 years ago from Alice Herfurt, a coworker she credits for training her when she first began in the medical staff field.

Petry has developed other forms for the MSO as well and she encourages other MSPs to do the same by being creative and looking at multiple ways of doing things. “I have worked at three major health systems. Based on how the culture is at each one, certain tools work at certain health systems. But some things are generic and can carry over,” says Petry.

To see a copy of the form, click here.

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