Who Drives the Vendor Management Bus?

October 10, 2007 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

John Cunningham recently wrote an article in Materials Management in Health Care about controlling vendor access in healthcare organizations.  In the article, he cogently outlines the various drivers of controlling vendor access as well as some of the requirements for implementing a solution.  He identifies many of the cross-organizational requirements for these programs, and calls on materials managers to step to the forefront.

Materials managers play a crucial role in facilitating the interdepartmental cooperation needed to implement effective access control strategies. They should take the lead in bringing together key stakeholders (e.g., pharmacy, invasive area department managers, safety and security, infection control, etc.) and educating them on how the policy will work. It’s also important to emphasize the specific benefits of such a program, both to the hospital and individual managers.

We applaud his call to materials managers to step up to leading the charge of program implementation.   In our work with nearly 100 hospitals throughout the U.S., we see materials management already at the forefront of these initiatives.

Compliance officers are also prominent drivers of vendor management programs.  Their role intertwines policy development, documentation practices, and reporting across a myriad of fronts.  They regularly interact with the same departments that materials managers will be rallying to implement vendor management programs. 

Our Take:   With this in mind, I’ll add to John’s call to the materials managers to lead the charge.   Bring your compliance officer in at the very beginning of your thoughts on this.  

The one-two punch of materials management and compliance behind an initiative almost guarantees success.   Between the two of you, you’ll have already established strong relationships with the interested stakeholders in your hospital.   Between the two of you, you’ll maximize the payoff of a vendor management program by considering the impact to feet on the floor of the facility, the documentation required for mandates, and the contract management and cost control benefits.   

Entry filed under: materials management, vendor management.

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