The role of the National Practitioner Data Bank in the credentialing process

Teresa M. Waters, Richard B. Warnecke, Jennifer Parsons, Orit Almagor, Peter P. Budetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Federal law requires hospitals and permits other entities to seek information from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) but places no requirements on how that information should be used. Our survey of NPDB users demonstrates that although the NPDB has generated substantial controversy and its information is nominally available from other sources, it still plays an important role in the credentialing process. Most institutions make timely NPDB inquiries that facilitate widespread use of the information in credentialing activities (4-5 individuals or committees). However, in 3% to 7% of cases, a decision was reached before the institution had the NPDB report. Between 5% and 30% of privileging and licensure applications involving an NPDB report were not granted "as requested," suggesting the NPDB data are important to the process. Unfortunately, underreporting was also evident: 60% to 75% of reportable actions were not reported, limiting the information to which health care entities have access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-39
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Credentialing
  • Hospital reporting
  • NPDB
  • National Practitioner Data Bank
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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