Let’s face it. References can be a pain. (No one wants to ask their colleagues to complete yet another reference form). Hospitals require one to four current references at initial appointment and reappointment. The number varies based on the hospital. References must be received from the primary source by each hospital (which means, one hospital cannot accept the completed reference form from you for a different hospital). References are a required element of the credentialing process so you want to make sure they are returned in a timely fashion.
Tips to ensure references don’t hold up your credentialing process:
- Use referrers who you have associated with in clinical practice within the past 12 months.
- Be sure your reference meets the hospital requirements as listed on the application (Example: some hospitals require that one reference be a current department/division chair).
- Verify current phone numbers and email addresses for all references prior to listing them on an application.
- Give references a heads-up each time they are listed as a reference on an application. This way the reference knows to be on the look-out for contact from a specific entity.
Last tip: Practice reference etiquette. Return the favor and promptly complete reference requests for your colleagues. Just as you don’t want your colleagues’ references to hold up your credentialing process; they don’t want your completed reference to hold up theirs.