In the United States, a national system for determine qualified health care providers does not exist. Local and state governments as well as professional organizations are responsible for providing people with credentialing information about healthcare providers. In my state, the department of health is responsible for providing the public with the necessary information on practitioners’ qualification. My state has a license data base called the provider credential search where on the department of health website where the public can go to find out the information about healthcare providers. https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/providercredentialsearch/SearchCriteria.aspx. The state department of health provides this information as a service to its citizens. The information provided include valid copies any disciplinary actions. The data presented to the public comes directly from the state database, upgraded on a daily basis and is validated through a certification by the department of health.
In my state, a physician and surgeon should have the following credential to qualify for certification and licensing. They should have A bachelor’s degree graduate from an approved and accredited medical school, completed their residency or any other required post-graduation training for at least two years, a detailed working experience which a valid account of 30 days or more non-working days, a verified state license and information about one’s general health or history of loss of license, criminal records and disciplinary actions. For an advance registered nursing practitioner, one has to have graduated from an approved program for nurse practitioner and have an active registered nurse license in the state and statements about one’s mental and physical health, criminal convictions or previous disciplinary action. For a physician assistant one must be a graduate of a physician assistant program that is accredited and approved, must have completed chronology work experience after receiving one’s degree, license verification and a statement about physical and mental health, previous disciplinary action or felony convictions(Dearmon, 2013).
Governing powers of the health departments are not given to the federal government, instead they are reserved to the state administrations. Therefore, licensure and certification of health care professionals are the jurisdiction of the local governments. This practice was as a result of the states’ jurisdictional assertions and claims that they prefer to maintain the right of protecting their citizens from unqualified medical practices and health care professionals. The principle in this situation is that of local law protecting the local citizens. However, over the years, these laws have come to gain some similarities. For example, all states depend on the United States Medical Licensing Examination to approve the qualification of their practitioners (Dearmon, 2013). Due to these similarities, it cannot be said that health professional in one state are more qualified that of another state.
Hiring medical personnel with professionally incorrect credential could be a dangerous matter since these people are responsible for people’s lives and their general well-being. If people who are not qualified to be health care givers worked in institutions like hospitals, there would be many medical errors that would often lead to unnecessary loss of life. A report released by the Institute of Medicine in the year 1999 showed that 44000-98000 deaths among hospitalized patients each year was as a result of medical errors (Dearmon, 2013). Lack of qualification requirements may lead to increased cases of mal-practice and negligence which would ultimately give the hospital of similar organizations a negative reputation.
American Telemedicine Association. (June 2011) Medical Licensure and Practice Requirements.
Dearmon, Valorie. (2013) Risk Management and Legal Issues. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.
Washington State Medical Association. (September, 2014). Physician Assistants in Washington State: Physician Practices and the Care Team Model. Olympia, Washington