Behind the Scenes: Medical Staff Services

We recently sat down with KVH Medical Staff Coordinator Kyle West to learn more about the work of his department. Also present was Kyle’s predecessor, Mandy Weed, now Executive Assistant for KVH Administration.

What is your role at KVH?

I’m the Medical Staff Coordinator, which reports to Dr. Martin, the Chief Medical Officer. I serve the providers who provide care at KVH.

A lot of what I do involves helping providers apply for privileges to work here. Honestly, the more interesting angle is not what I do – which is a lot of gathering paperwork and data – but why I do it. You want to have providers who are well qualified, who’ve been checked out and are going to provide good care for the patients and the community.

We go through a thorough screening before providers come here, and a rescreening every other year when they come up for reappointment, making sure they’re still a solid provider, well-trained and doing a good job.

Are you part of the provider hiring process?

For KVH positions, candidates talk first with provider recruiter Mitch Engel. They interview, he makes an offer, and they sign a contract before he refers them to Medical Staff. Then I help with the privileging process. HR does the standard HR drug and background check, and I do an additional check of references, past employment, claims history and other hospital affiliations.

You previously worked at Community Health of Central Washington.

I was the Residency Program Coordinator for the rural training site of the Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program. I would work with Mandy to coordinate orientation for the residents, when they would come in, and make sure that they weren’t doing rotations with the same KVH provider at the same time. I did a lot of other things, too. It was a multifaceted job, just like this one.

What are some of the other things that you do as the MSC?

I help coordinate medical staff department meetings.

Mandy: Which also involves 14 different committees.

(Gasp!) Do you sit through all of those meetings?

I do. And take minutes, and help the meeting leader put together the agenda.

Anything else?

Mandy: Kyle coordinates the medical students that come into the facility, working with the school, with Pam Lutz for current contracts, and with another person who does our insurance credentialing. He funnels all that stuff and sends it off for processing. And he’s the point of contact, as well.

Kyle: Say you’re a patient who goes to a KVH clinic, and you have Premera insurance. KVH wants the provider who sees you to be able to bill Premera. Each insurance company has their own process, so I facilitate getting the information to the companies’ credentialers.

Mandy: Kyle also coordinates provider liability insurance.  He also gets the pleasure of the on-call schedule.

Sounds busy. Do you ever get time off?

(Laughs) I’ve only been here 90 days, so, no. Not yet.

What are the major challenges of medical staff coordination?

There are a lot of demands. It requires being good at prioritizing, and a lot of attention to detail. So far, prioritizing has been the most challenging, when several people are all saying, “this is urgent, I need this now,” and there’s only one of me. I can’t do it all.

How do you keep track of your work?

I’ve got a program to manage provider privileging, and a tracking whiteboard in my office. Mandy has been super helpful in training and helping me prioritize, and gives me feedback when I miss something.

Mandy: So in Washington, providers use a WPA, Washington Practitioner Application, to apply for privileges. It’s 16 pages, sometimes more. All of that information, Kyle then takes and enters into this program, so that he can then send out peer references, hospital affiliations, insurance verifications…

Any other challenges that come to mind?

There’s a lot to learn.

What are the rewards?

It’s a nice team of folks to work with. Everybody’s easy to get along with. It’s a rewarding job, because I feel like I’m making a difference for the community and KVH.

What would you put in a go-to bag to succeed in a typical day on the job?

Mandy: Lots of patience. You’re always going in different directions. You have to be able to shift gears quickly and then get back to what you were doing. It’s very fast-paced. There’s a lot going on.

Kyle: Have a sense of adventure, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!