A comprehensive credentialing program has been proven to be one of the most effective tools in improving patient safety. Credentialing requirements include, but are not limited to, doctors and nurses having evidence of attainment of the necessary education, board certifications, immunizations and training.
Over time, these requirements may evolve as regulations change or new standards are implemented. In addition, hospitals require their staff keep their credentials current to ensure they are following current protocols and adhering to current best practices and regulations.
And keeping credentials current isn’t an anomaly to medical staff. Teachers, financial advisors, lawyers, veterinarians, lifeguards and other professionals are all required to update their credentials on a regular basis – it’s called Continuing Education. Even drivers and travelers have to renew their licenses, passports and visas. Why must these credentials be kept current? Because things change. Names and addresses need to be updated. Professionals need to stay abreast of scientific advancements in their fields as well as changes in laws and regulations. Life isn’t static, and credentials shouldn’t be either.
In recent months, and across hundreds of discussions with hospital compliance personnel, we have detected increased demand, and rightly so, for vendors and other healthcare personnel at the hospitals to be held to the same standards as hospital staff in terms of keeping credentials up-to-date. Currently, with few exceptions, vendor representatives and professional visitors are not required to update their credentials.
It’s clear that vendor representatives will be required to update most credentials in the very near future. Like death and taxes, it’s a certainty. Here’s why:

Regular training updates result in reinforcement learning. All healthcare personnel need regular reminders of the importance of hand hygiene and other safety protocols to keep safety measures top of mind.
As training content is updated, all healthcare personnel need to know and understand the new material. For instance, HIPAA training has evolved as healthcare embraces electronic data records; sometimes technical advancements may require a mid-year change in training content.
Of course, sales representatives need regular training updates on their new products and services so they can provide updated evidence of competency to their facilities.
While most vendor companies perform criminal background checks and drug screenings upon hire, they are rarely repeated during the course of an individual’s career. Unfortunately, these sometimes large gaps of reference can leave facilities vulnerable to risk. Background checks, drug screenings and even profile photos should be updated regularly in order to increase vigilance and reduce vulnerability.
At IntelliCentrics, we are dedicated to helping you make your facility safer. You have our commitment that we will continue to monitor prevailing standards, legislation and best practices associated with compliance and determine how they should apply to our facilities and members. Healthcare standards for everything from OR protocol to National Patient Safety Goals will continue to evolve, and credentials and training requirements must stay current as well.
Adverse events cost an average hospital over $5.1 million per year! Can your hospital afford not to have a credentialing program?  Click here to download our white paper to learn more about the cost of not credentialing.

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