How to Perform Primary Source Verification of Doctors and
Medical Staff to Avoid Death Risk
“Primary source verification of doctors and medical staff is extremely essential to remove the
rising plague of medical malpractice and medical negligence in our society.”
First and on the front lines of the topic, we need to know some facts which can be helpful to
evoke us on the serious issue of medical negligence and medical malpractice and they will also
help us to understand the importance of primary source verification of our family physicians,
doctors or even the hospital medical staff who treats us when we are ill.
Almost 98,000 people die in hospitals annually each year due to preventable medical errors. An
interview based survey conducted by the doctors revealed that more than one third of the
patients said that they or their family members had experienced medical errors, most leading
to serious health consequences. One of the sources also mentioned that in every 10 medical
negligence cases 4 people were died, and it’s the scariest of all.
As far as the world has developed, the medical advancement is also on the rise but there is a
newer pool of diseases had also struck the world in past 3 decades. Many fake medical
professionals like doctors, nurses, dentists etc have taken it as an opportunity to fool the
innocence of a common man and a patient to make black money, which eventually results in
four most common accusations.
Failure to diagnose
Incorrectly performed procedure
Error in diagnosis
Failure to perform procedure.
To avoid and restrict these deaths causing accusations a medical employer or even a patient
must perform the primary source verification of their doctors and the treating staff.
Doctors and medical staff background check and credentialing through primary source
verification methods sound a bit extreme. It is a direct contact with the sources of credentials.
For example, this may include, licensing agencies, and specialty boards to guarantee that
statements about training, experience and other qualifications are legitimate, unchallenged and
Directly contacting a medical school or state medical board to verify education and licensure,
respectively, are examples of primary source verification. Primary source verification should be
performed on the following core criteria:
Professional education, training, Board Certification and experience (e.g. medical school,
internship(s), residency(s), board certification)
Current Medical license verification
Current competence verification
Ability to perform requested privileges (e.g. confirmed health status relative only to a
provider’s ability to perform the requested privileges).
Professional Qualification, Training and Experience Verification
These elements can be verified by sending letters to each institution individually (professional
school, training program, specialty board, etc.). Independent medical background check
companies can also be used as their links are very accurate and fast.
Medical License Verification
Primary source verification of licensure status is extremely important. This should always be
performed at the time of initial appointment, and at the time of each reappointment and/or re-
privileging, and is recommended at the time of license expiration. The following points must be
considered while performing PSV:
Date and time of the license issuance.
State of licensure, license number, date of original licensure and expiration date
Name (first and last) of the person initiating the verification call
Name (first and last) of the person verifying the information
Are there any current, past, or pending restrictions on the license?
Are there any current, past, or pending disciplinary actions against the practitioner?
Current Competence Verification
This is an element that needs to be assessed by medical employers on the initial appointment
and at least every two years thereafter, normally at the time of reappointment/reappraisal.
Competency Verification can be sent to the Medical Director or Medical Staff Credentialing
office of any hospital that the applicant has been affiliated with in the recent past.
Physical and mental ability to perform requested privileges
Authority must be granted to a physician or dentist by a hospital governing board to provide
patient care in the hospital. Clinical privileges are limited by the individual's professional
license, experience, and competence.
The primary and the secondary reason for aggressive primary source verification and
credentialing of doctors / medical staff is patient’s safety!
Q2 is based in Singapore and provides informational resources to governments, multinationals
and the background check industry. The team behind Q2 pioneered the background checking
industry in Asia when they founded Quest Research in 2000. Quest Research had over 500
employees in 12 offices across Asia prior to being sold to a leading listed US background
screening company in 2005. The team also established and built IntegraScreen, the largest
global reputational due diligence company, which was sold to WorldCheck in 2009.
The aim of Q2 is to assist the growth and development of background checking internationally
by providing valuable and relevant informational resources.