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A Data-Driven Approach to Healthcare Certification

September 19, 2019

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Using a data-driven approach to healthcare certification can help create a successful program that is continuously improving. Certifying bodies can use a data-driven approach to uncover ways to improve various aspects of the healthcare certification process. Here are some straightforward ways data can help improve the program’s candidate satisfaction, support program growth, build credibility, and mitigate candidate misconduct. 

Support Program Growth and Credibility

There are various psychometric practices behind a credible healthcare certification program. Beginning with a job analysis conducted with the goal of identifying what’s important for success in a specific job to then determine how best to measure those. The data uncovered in a job analysis is used to ensure that the right skills are honed and examined in the credentialing program. This data also fuels standard setting, exam item review, and test development. The credentialing exam is then assembled, and quality is maintained through ongoing program evaluation, statistical analysis, and validation studies. 

Improve the Candidate Experience

There are many ways to improve the experience that candidates have during the certification and maintenance process. Candidates are at various stages of their career life cycle with differing personal and professional priorities, so centering your program around program flexibility. Ensure your program allows candidates to focus on advancing their careers by offering convenient scheduling with remote proctoring and building strong candidate support services.

Single sign-on capabilities are another way to improve the candidate experience by allowing candidates to transition smoothly from their certifying organization's website to the scheduling platform. The scheduling platform can be branded with the organization's colors and logo, maintaining a seamless process, look, and feel.

Take this a step further by monitoring your program's success in these areas. Take a client satisfaction survey, and use this data to adjust and enhance your program as needed. A program offering a positive candidate experience translates to more employable healthcare professionals, better program marketability, and a stronger workforce all around.

Mitigate Candidate Misconduct

As testing professionals, our top priority is creating valid, sound exams, maintaining the integrity of credentialing programs, and prohibiting candidate misconduct. While many traditional measures are taken to ensure test security, like strict test center security, TCA training, and candidate identity security, the latest innovative data forensics techniques solve these problems in a more effective way.

As we know, forensic analysis involves scientific tests to detect the occurrence of a criminal act. While generally discussed in terms of physical evidence left at the scene of a crime, we can likewise state that when people interact with tests in abnormal and fraudulent ways, they are likely to leave traces of their acts, occurring as irregularities in their answer choices, score patterns, and response times. After testing occurs, PSI's data forensics team completes analysis of candidate responses for clients testing around the globe. This analysis can be completed daily, monthly, or quarterly depending on the needs of the organization.

Evidence-Based Hiring in Healthcare

The benefits of using data extend beyond the healthcare certification process. The evolution of “evidence-based" medicine changed the healthcare industry. Not that long ago, clinical judgment, anecdotal evidence, and personal experience ruled clinical decision-making. Then we discovered that using research to drive decision making, treatment guidelines, and policies vastly improved outcomes and saved lives. Human Resources professionals in the healthcare industry are using this approach to build evidence-based hiring strategies for selecting and developing talent, defining the behavioral skills they are looking for and implementing a consistent process to evaluate and develop these skills. You can read more on evidence-based hiring in this article from our experts in healthcare talent management.

Data of various sizes, formats, and quality has been used for centuries to drive decision-making and process improvements. Using a data-driven approach to improve the credibility of your healthcare certification program and ensure that your candidate is receiving a fair, secure experience.

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Scott Hazlett Scott Hazlett is the Vice President of Business Development, Certification at PSI. He works with certification clients to develop world-class testing solutions that are secure, innovative and valid. He received his BA in Psychology and English from the University of Michigan and his MBA from Cornell University’s SC Johnson Graduate School of Management.

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