Standardizing Vendor Credentialing

Standardizing Vendor Credentialing

This piece was originally published in the November 2017 issue of electroindustry.

Cassie Ricci, MITA Senior Manager, Government Relations

Healthcare industry representatives (HCIRs) must be credentialed prior to entering a medical facility to sell products and services. Credentialing may include background checks, drug screening, and immunizations. Although all stakeholders share the common goals of patient safety and quality care, inconsistencies in the current environment result in widely varying credentialing requirements. Currently, HCIRs must comply with multiple differing processes.

A staggering $1.7 billion is spent annually on redundant credentialing processes and documentation. Of equal concern is the privacy and data security of multiple nonregulated systems. Since there are no standard requirements or processes, maintaining the accuracy and timeliness of the data is challenging.

The Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing has developed a set of best practices to streamline burdensome and duplicative processes and introduce a comprehensive and scalable approach to vendor credentialing.

According to Chair Rhett Suhre, “The best practices have been vetted with suppliers, providers, and governing bodies to ensure that they meet any applicable laws or regulations, while meeting the common goals of patient safety and confidentiality. The next step is to create the data standards to allow for more efficient and accurate communication on the compliance status for the representatives.”

MITA and the Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing are developing an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard to ensure that all HCIRs follow one consistent protocol.

The consortium is made up of 32 members and supporting organizations, including health systems, healthcare professional organizations, and supplier companies. To join or learn more, visit MITA is a supporting member of the consortium.

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