Vendor Credentialing Standards: Still Sought

Consortium to focus on developing universal written and data standards

jhc-oct16-istock_74245509_largePartners from a broad range of healthcare product companies joined together in June 2016 to create the Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing, which will succeed the Coalition for Best Practices in Healthcare Industry Representatives. Since 2012, the Coalition has been active in developing and promoting a set of best practices for credentialing representatives of healthcare products companies who need to gain access to healthcare facilities.

Today, the healthcare industry faces many challenges through the use of inconsistent and duplicative systems for credentialing sales representatives, the Consortium said in a statement. “Misalignment in credentialing of these individuals adds to healthcare costs and can compromise patient safety. The Consortium will build on and continue the work of the Coalition with a new focus on developing universal written and data standards and exploring how to create true interoperability in the credentialing process.”

SEnthusiasm among some providers
Individuals in the healthcare provider community reportedly are optimistic about the developments in credentialing practices, according to the Consortium.

“This is a real opportunity for providers and suppliers to remove waste and redundancy from the value chain,” Bruce Mairose, vice chair of supply chain management for Mayo Clinic, was quoted as saying. “The foundational work underway will help ensure a safe environment of care through recommended guidelines, enabled by a common platform and execution of [healthcare industry representative] credentialing,”

Shane Hughes CPSM, supplier access program manager for Intermountain Healthcare’s Supply Chain Organization, was quoted: “If there were clear healthcare industry representative standards nationwide, providers and vendors alike could streamline their processes to better meet the needs of our patients. The Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing is composed of providers and vendors who would like to set a clear standard nationwide and is promoting best practices and industry recommendations.”

Ed Hardin, vice president of supply chain management for CHRISTUS Health, said, “The current state of healthcare vendor credentialing is frustrating for both the vendors and providers. At CHRISTUS Health, we hope that the work of the newly formed Consortium will help significantly reduce this frustration. Ultimately, the work of the Consortium should be a win-win for all stakeholders involved in vendor credentialing, and to that end, CHRISTUS plans to take a leading role amongst provider organizations to do what we can to ensure this happens.”

Common goals
Consortium Chair Rhett Suhre believes that this is an opportunity to better align with the common goals of patient safety and confidentiality. “The supplier community has long realized the importance of ensuring that we employ personnel who complement the work of healthcare providers,” he said. “Reputable companies have policies and employ processes that are designed to minimize risk to the company, provider partners, and most importantly, the patient.

“Our goal as a Consortium is to continue to meet these high standards and communicate compliance in a more efficient and effective manner. If we do it right the first time, we can eliminate the duplicative work and costs that do not bring incremental value and only create additional costs.”

Consortium Vice Chair Marcy Thomsen, RN, was quoted as saying, “While there is no question that checks and balances must be in place for the safety and security of all involved, especially patients, there remains a ‘disconnect’ in the existing cumbersome process that must finally and aggressively be linked. The solution must include a defined, systemic workflow with a centralized informational platform in order to reduce the many redundancies and costs shared by all. The overwhelming savings of time and resources should be directed towards ongoing medical advances.”

The Consortium said it will continue to engage with stakeholders through meetings and participation in conferences, including the annual Vendor Credentialing Summit. The Consortium will facilitate discussion and capture the best thinking around credentialing while helping to ensure safe, confidential patient care and continued access to advances in medical technology.

The Consortium continues to receive new members. For more information, view their website at:

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