Monday, November 2, 2009

Question of the Week: Registered Dietitians

This month's issue of HCPro's Briefings on Credentialing reports the movement toward Registered Dietitians (RDs) seeking clinical privileges so that they can write diet orders at their facilities. Currently, only licensed independent practitioners are required to write orders according to CMS regulations.

The American Dietetic Association supports the movement toward granting RDs clinical privileges. The ADA believes that allowing RDs to write diet orders on their own allows them to practice within the full scope for which they are trained. They acknowledge one issue, and that is that the physician in charge of a patient's care can still be liable in a malpractice suit, even if the patient's injury is a result of the dietitian's order.

The credentialing of RDs is a practice that facilities have handled in different ways. Some facilities delegate it to their human resources offices, while medical staff offices take care of it in other facilities. If the movement toward granting RDs clinical privileges picks up steam, it is likely that credentialing of RDs will become a function of the medical staff office.

The question of the week is, who currently performs the credentialing of Registered Dietitians in your facility? Take the poll on the right side of the NAMSS Blog page, and leave any comments or thoughts on this topic in the comment field below.

1 comment:

Mary Beth Patten, CPMSM said...

This is a very timely topic for us, as we just received a request to credential an RD who works for one of our endocrinologists. I am looking forward to seeing if any other hospitals are currently doing this.