Medical Staff Portal
Medical Staff Resources & Services

Definition of Terms

Appointment

Process of becoming a member of the medical staff. An appointment to the Covenant Health medical staff establishes the relationship between individual practitioners and Covenant Health, one which includes mutual responsibility and accountability for providing health services to Albertans and an agreement to be bound by the Covenant Health Medical Staff Bylaws and Rules. Covenant Health medical staff appointments are provincial, (not to a particular zone or facility) and they outline the category of appointment and the practitioner’s rights and responsibilities associated with the appointment.

Credentialing 

Process whereby a practitioner’s qualifications (education, training, experience and professional attributes) are validated and reviewed against established standards (for example, those of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) to establish that the practitioner is qualified to practice within a particular clinical domain or perform particular clinical procedures. In some circumstances, demonstrated experience is used as a proxy or alternative to formal training. The credentialing process provides information about whether the applicant has the education, training, experience and professional attributes necessary to perform the clinical privileges requested.

Privileging

Process whereby a practitioner is authorized to practice within a particular clinical domain and provide particular clinical procedures at a specific site (or sites).

Clinical privileges “define the diagnostic or therapeutic procedures or other patient care services a practitioner is deemed competent to perform, the facility(ies) and zone(s) within which the practitioner is eligible to provide care and services to patients; and the specified Covenant Health programs and professional services…that the practitioner is eligible to access.”

The clinical privileges granted to a practitioner will never be broader than the clinical activities a practitioner is qualified or licensed to perform. Most commonly, clinical privileges granted would be a subset of the activities an individual is qualified to perform. Clinical privileges are site specific because they require consideration of site characteristics to ensure the provision of quality care, like site capacity, adequate facilities, equipment, and number and type of qualified support staff and other resources. (For example, a urogynecologist might be privileged to perform cystoscopy procedures in Hospital #1 with appropriate resources and supports, but not be privileged to perform them in Hospital #2 because it does not possess the necessary resources to support high quality patient outcomes and safety.)

To make a decision about whether to approve a request for clinical privileges, a practitioner’s credentials are reviewed and aligned with:

  • patient need for the clinical activity to be privileged.
  • site capacity for safe delivery of the clinical activity to be privileged.
  • an assessment of the specific education, training, experience and maintenance of competence requirements for the safe delivery of the clinical activity (privilege) being requested.
  • organizational resources available to support/provide the clinical activities.