Healthcare vendor credentialing has become a significantly important issue to many hospital executives over the past five years. The obvious reason for this increase in importance is patient safety. Healthcare regulatory bodies, such as the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] and The Joint Commission [TJC], have evolved the definition of healthcare personnel to encompass unpaid individuals, bringing suppliers under the same scrutiny as facility staff.
Hospitals are using vendor credentialing systems like ReptraxTM to ensure that the people conducting business in their facilities have the proper immunizations, background checks, and training to enter patient areas.
But, as reported by Philip Betbeze in the June 28, 2013 issue of HealthLeaders, there are also “good business reasons to employ such advanced tracking systems for vendors. The program gives hospitals an eye on whether their vendors are following agreed-upon rules of engagement.”
In his article, “Why Vendor Credentialing is a Strategic Issue,” Betbeze interviewed Joe Walsh, assistant vice president of procurement at Intermountain Healthcare, a nonprofit health system based in Salt Lake City. Intermountain uses Reptrax as its vendor credentialing program across all 22 hospitals in its system. As stated in the article, “Intermountain Healthcare has become a big believer in automated vendor credentialing programs, not only as a patient safety and compliance solution, but as a way to make sure that vendors are meeting their business agreements.”
Walsh confirms this, “Every time we sit down with a major supplier, we go to the database and see if they are selling products they are not authorized to sell so we can have a fact-based discussion about management of our account. Those are the unspoken benefits of this program.”