Streamlining Credentialing: Simplifying the Process for Ease and Efficiency

Streamlining Credentialing: Simplifying the Process for Ease and Efficiency

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As a locum doctor, you have a unique job role that involves filling in for other physicians temporarily. You may work in different healthcare facilities, often across state lines and with various healthcare systems.

With the ever-increasing demand for healthcare services, the demand for locum doctors is also rising. The locum tenens industry has grown by 94% over the past decade, with an estimated revenue of $3.9 billion in 2020. This trend is expected to continue, making the locum tenens job market highly competitive.

Credentialing is one of the most critical factors that can impact your success as a locum doctor. It refers to verifying a healthcare professional’s qualifications, work history, and competency before granting them privileges to practice in a particular facility.

Credentialing is essential for locum doctors and healthcare facilities, ensuring patients receive the highest quality of care from qualified and competent practitioners.

However, credentialing can be a complex and time-consuming process. Locum doctors must complete multiple applications, submit numerous documents, and undergo background checks for each healthcare facility.

This can be daunting, especially for those new to the locum tenens job market. But don’t worry; in this blog post, we will discuss some practical tips on how to make credentialing easy for locum doctors.

The Process of Credentialing

The credentialing process typically involves three key stages: application, primary source verification, and committee review.

The Process of Credentialing


Licensing bodies require locum doctors to submit a comprehensive application that provides information about their education, training, work history, and any malpractice or disciplinary actions. Depending on the healthcare facility, the application can be physical or electronic.

Pay attention to details and fill out the application accurately and completely to avoid any delays in the credentialing process.

Primary Source Verification

After applying, the healthcare facility’s credentialing department will verify the information provided by the locum doctor with the relevant primary sources.

For example, they may contact the educational institution to verify the doctor’s medical degree or the state licensing board to confirm the validity of their license. This process can take a few weeks, depending on the responsiveness of the primary sources.

Committee Review

Once the primary source verification is complete, the credentialing committee will review the application and decide to grant practice privileges.

The review process can take up to 60 days and sometimes longer if there are any red flags or missing information in the application. The committee will also consider any references or letters of recommendation from the locum doctor’s previous employers.

Tips for Making Credentialing Easier for Locum Doctors

While credentialing is necessary for patient safety and quality of care, it can be time-consuming and stressful for locum doctors. Here are some tips that can make the process more manageable:

Tips for Making Credentialing Easier for Locum Doctors

1. Keep your documents up-to-date

Before applying for locum tenens positions, ensure all your documents are current and up-to-date. This includes your medical license, DEA certificate, board certifications, immunization records, and malpractice insurance.

Keep digital copies of these documents handy so you can quickly send them to healthcare facilities when needed.

2. Use a central agency for credentialing

One of the easiest ways to make credentialing easier for locum doctors is to work with a central agency that can handle the entire credentialing process on your behalf.

These agencies have established relationships with multiple healthcare facilities and can expedite your credentialing process. They also have a team of experts who can assist with completing applications and coordinating with primary sources.

3. Keep track of your credentials

As a locum doctor, you may have multiple licenses, certifications, and other credentials to manage. To avoid any confusion or delays in the credentialing process, keep track of all your credentials in an organized manner.

For instance, maintain a spreadsheet or an online tool that lists all your license expiration dates and other relevant information. Set reminders to renew your licenses and credentials before they expire so you don’t have to rush at the last minute.

4. Review the application carefully

Before submitting your application, double-check all the information provided to ensure accuracy and completeness. Review any sections that must be filled out separately for each healthcare facility, such as the privilege request or immunization records.

Also, please attach any required documents and references requested by the healthcare facility.

5. Be responsive

The healthcare facility’s credentialing department may need additional information or documentation from you during the credentialing process.

It’s essential to be responsive and promptly reply to any requests to avoid delays. A little cooperation and flexibility from your end can significantly speed up credentialing.


Credentialing is an essential process for locum doctors. While it can be complex and time-consuming, ensuring the quality of care delivered to patients is necessary.

Keeping your documents updated, working with a central agency, and being responsive and organized can make the credentialing process easier and faster. Don’t let the credentialing process discourage you from pursuing your career as a locum doctor.

With these tips, you can easily navigate the process and continue to provide quality care to patients across different healthcare settings.


Q: Do I need to go through the same credentialing process for every healthcare facility I work in as a locum doctor?

Healthcare facilities have different credentialing requirements, so you may have to complete the process for each facility you work in. However, working with a central agency can help streamline the process by completing the bulk of the paperwork on your behalf.

Q: Does my locum agency handle my credentials?

Not necessarily. Some locum agencies may offer credentialing services, while others may leave it up to the locum doctor to complete the process. It’s best to inquire about their credentialing process before accepting any assignments.

Q: Can I work as a locum doctor while my credentialing is in progress?

It depends on the healthcare facility’s policy. Some facilities may allow you to work with temporary privileges while the credentialing process is ongoing, while others may require you to complete the process before allowing you to practice.

Q: Is the credentialing process different for international locum doctors?

International locum doctors may have additional steps, such as obtaining a work visa and completing a language proficiency test.

Q: How long does the credentialing process usually take?

The process can take anywhere from 60 days to a few months, depending on the healthcare facility and the responsiveness of the primary sources. Some central agencies may be able to expedite the process by coordinating with multiple facilities at once.

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