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Every job requires an employer to gather previous work experience from prospective employees. Normally, a candidate will provide a resume with work history, education, and references. It is then up to the administrator to follow-up with the provided contacts to get confirmation of the applicant’s work history. 

By ensuring that an individual has the experience and training necessary to successfully perform their duties on the job is critical to the overall success of the business. This becomes even more important when a medical professional is hired to work for a hospital, practice, or other healthcare-related company.

When a healthcare organization begins the process of bringing a new care provider into their facility, there are a number of steps they must take beforehand, including PSV. The PSV medical abbreviation is short for primary source verification, and it is incredibly important in the healthcare industry. Without it, hospitals wouldn’t be as safe for the patients receiving care there. 

So then, what is primary source verification, and why is it so integral? For more information, here is an overview of primary source verification and what it entails.

What Is Primary Source Verification?


Primary source verification is the process of verifying that the credentials of a healthcare provider are legitimate by directly contacting the primary source that issued the credential. These primary sources can include a variety of different entities, such as educational institutions that issue licenses, government agencies, and even the former employers of the potential care provider. The use of these primary sources for verification was instituted by the Joint Commission.

Although primary source verification revolves around the particular individual’s documented skills and past experience, it is the responsibility of the healthcare organization to conduct the verification. Because a hospital cannot grant a health practitioner privileges until they have been thoroughly verified, institutions must reach out and contact the necessary primary sources in a timely manner. Otherwise, it will take much longer for overworked hospitals to bring new staff on board and alleviate their busy work environment.

Some may mistake primary source verification for credentialing due to their similarities and use the terms interchangeably. However, while the two terms are interconnected and closely related, they are not the same thing. The credentialing process involves obtaining and verifying the necessary documentation for a potential physician or nurse, whereas the issuers of those documents must be contacted directly for primary source verification.

What Credentials Requires Primary Source Verification?


While you may now understand what the PSV medical abbreviation stands for and means, you might still be wondering what the credentials are that need verification. Much of the documentation pertains to an individual’s medical background, such as their training, education, and past experience working at hospitals, but that isn’t all. Other important information that must be verified with a primary source includes past records to ensure the doctor doesn’t have a suspicious background.

There’s a long list of license certifications and other records that must be verified with an original source. Listed below are some of the most common certification or registration that healthcare organizations can expect to verify during the onboarding process:

  • Background Checks
  • Criminal History
  • Federal and State DEA Certificates
  • Federation of State Medical Boards
  • Hospital Affiliation Verification
  • Licensing Board Certifications
  • Medical Education and Training Programs
  • Past Work History
  • Residency Programs
  • State Controlled Substance Registration
  • State Medical Licenses

Primary Source Clarification Conflicts


Hospitals can begin correspondence with a primary source by calling them over the phone with recorded calls or through email. Unfortunately, the process isn’t always easy. Hospitals may encounter circumstances where primary source verification will be incredibly difficult or, in some cases, impossible.

For example, it will be challenging to contact the hospital a provider previously worked for if that institution shuts down. Healthcare organizations that closed their doors may not have the records you need to verify a provider’s experience, and in such scenarios, secondary source verification can be used as an alternative. This kind can include obtaining the verification of licensure because they would only be able to grant the license in the first place after verifying an individual’s education training background.

Why Is Primary Source Verification Important for Health Care?


Now that you know what primary source verification is and how complicated it can potentially be, you’re likely wondering why hospitals must go to such great lengths to speak with medical councils, among other sources. It has to do with the reason why healthcare organizations exist: to provide the best care for their patients. 

By verifying that a healthcare provider is qualified for their position, it ensures that the patient is in good hands. Should a physician not possess the necessary experience for their position, then they could harm the patients they’re supposed to be caring for. This scenario creates a liability risk that could result in severe fines and reputation damage, meaning that proper primary source verification is essential to the well-being of both the patients and the hospital itself.

Additionally, there are many other reasons why primary source verification is critical in the healthcare industry. There is a possibility that a payer will refuse to refund a healthcare organization if they choose not to participate in verifying primary sources. Further, it is also vital that current employees in an accredited organization also receive proper verification, as government entities expect that healthcare providers maintain up-to-date licenses.

For Helpful Healthcare Software, Call MedTrainer


There are many other important tasks that healthcare organizations must commit to, which, as with primary source verification, are as integral as they are time-consuming. However, there is a solution to those problems that can facilitate the process and ease the strain of meeting these requirements. 

With MedTrainer’s medical credentialing software, your establishment will have a much easier time ensuring the education and training of your oncoming providers. We also offer numerous other digital services, such as compliance and ethics certifications, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn more and to schedule a free demo!