Let’s be honest, paperwork for being a locums doctor can be a pain to say the least. I work with a lot of surgeons who are frequently getting privileged at different facilities and the trick to cutting down on the stress of paperwork and credentialing lies in preparation. Being prepared means having access to all of your documents in one place and being able to easily share them with a credentialing entity. In the old days, we had to rely on fax machines, filing cabinets, scanners and snail mail. Thanks to technology, it is much easier to be prepared and organized; as well as not being tied to home if you are travelling or working and need access to your documents.
Storing documents away from your computer:
Cloud Services – Keep your documents in a cloud service, meaning a hosting site (on a server) that keeps a digital copy of your documents and be able to access them from a computer anywhere. The most common cloud services are Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon but there are plenty of other cloud sources available. Most of these will allow you to upload documents from your phone or tablet (later I will explain how this can come in handy).
- Google Drive: https://www.google.com/drive/
- Amazon Cloud Drive: https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/home
- Dropbox – https://www.dropbox.com/
Portable Storage – This would include SD cards, USB drives or other flash devices, this could also include portable hard drives or DVD/CD’s. I like to suggest a USB drive that you can attach to your key chain to you can keep with you at all times. Don’t forget to password protect your flash drive or removable disc if you are taking these with you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOeLmr94i5I
Mobile Scanning Applications – a quick and convenient way for you to scan not only your credentialing documents but receipts, time sheets, etc.
One tool I love to suggest is to find a good application for your mobile phone to use as a scanner which will create PDF documents that you can then upload to one of the cloud services above. This is not only great for your credentialing documents but also if you are using paper time sheets or need to scan and keep a record of receipts used during your locums assignments. Every time you get a receipt for parking, tolls, baggage, etc; simply use your mobile device and scanning application to take a photo of the receipt, it will then turn it into a PDF file which you can upload to the appropriate drive folder and have access to every time.
Here is a good article that rates some of the best scanning applications for your Android or I-Phone device:
Suggestions Of Documents To Keep Mobile:
- Medical degrees and certificates
- Residency and Fellowship Certificates
- ATLS, BLS, PALS, ACLS certifications
- Malpractice summary and case information (supplemental claims)
- Immunization records
- State licenses
- Letters of recommendation
- Passport photo