It’s no wonder The Nebraska Medical Center has been ranked the No. 1 Healthcare Facility in Nebraska by US News and World Report two years in a row. Not only is this 627-licensed bed hospital the largest healthcare facility in the state, it’s always looking for ways to improve the safety and security of its patients and employees. Case in point is the hospital’s journey to implement vendor credentialing.
Even though The Joint Commission didn’t recommend credentialing non-employees in 2008, the hospital’s forward-thinking Compliance Department read the handwriting on the wall and thought it was important for vendor representatives to meet the same immunization and credentialing requirements as its employees.The Nebraska Medical Center originally tried to develop its own vendor credentialing program, but had limited success. Vendors were supposed to check in at the Purchasing Department where staff would verify their credentials and issue them a temporary badge. However, the process was time-intensive and a number of representatives didn’t follow the procedure. Plus, with the Purchasing Department located two city blocks away from the nearest hospital entrance, it simply wasn’t convenient.

The hospital decided it needed a proven vendor credentialing system. It looked for a program that would be less of a burden to both the hospital staff and vendor reps and selected IntelliCentrics’ ReptraxTM system. To make the check-in process easier, the medical center installed 10 kiosks at different locations throughout the hospital.
“Our goal was to create a safer, more secure environment, which only happens when everyone participates. That’s why it was important to lower any barriers to vendor participation,” said Bob Ruis, purchasing manager for The Nebraska Medical Center. According to Ruis, the most important thing hospitals can do when implementing a vendor credentialing program is to keep the vendor in mind. He recommends to anyone who manages this type of program to sign up as a vendor so they have a better understanding of the vendor experience.
The Nebraska Medical Center is a 2013 5 Rings Award winner. Learn more about our 5 Rings Award program and how we are recognizing healthcare facilities that have created a culture of vigilance, resulting in the safest possible environments for both patients and staff.Learn how LDS Hospital – Intermountain Healthcare, Ellis Hospital and The Nebraska Medical Center utilized vendor credentialing to improve patient safety. Click here to download these case studies.

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