It Only Takes One

May 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm 4 comments

I regularly read some of the medical vendor blogs, and I have seen the occassional griping post about vendor credentialing programs that require registration and single-use badges before allowing access onsite.  I understand the complaint.  After all, the vast majority of vendors representatives are at the facility to educate the medical staff about the best use of their products.   After all, the vast majority are trustworthy and compliant. 

But if you wonder why Vendormate encourages our customers to adopt single-use badges tied to current credential status, check out this story on — fake doctor on the halls in a children’s hospital.  The “doctor” had a badge.  

No vendor or vendor rep wants to be the one whose identity was compromised through a lost or stolen permanent badge that allowed someone to wander the halls.

No hospital wants to be featured on CNN, FoxNews, or any other network as the hospital that permitted the unrestricted access that allowed the rogue vendor representative to jeopardize patient safety.  

A single-use, day-of-visit badge won’t mitigate every exposure.   But it helps.   It shows hospital staff at a glance that this person is authorized to be there.   This person is doing her best to support the hospital’s goals.   This person can be trusted to conduct her business professionally.  

It’s the same principle as locking the doors when you leave your car in the parking lot.  You don’t do it because most of the people at the store are a threat.   You lock the doors because it just takes one. 

Entry filed under: Badging, security, vendor compliance.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ron Shultz  |  August 26, 2008 at 12:19 am

    As the owner of a sales agency I must comment that the roll-out of credentialing has been bungled. I do not object to credentialing, only to the plethora of companies hustling hospitals and representing themsevles as a universal solution. So far this year we have been compelled to pay three companies and one Florida County over $1,000 per rep/per year. Hospitals are no more or less than business enterprises. If they incur costs, they have to shift them to someone else. In this case, because there is no central repository of vendor credentialing. vendors get to pay and prices must rise and will eventually be added to the rising cost of healthcare in the Unioted States.

  • 2. Will  |  August 27, 2008 at 3:14 am

    As a service engineer for one of the leading medical imaging companies, I must say that this is causing a huge uproar. These companies are asking for personal information and wanting access to complete background checks. One issue that service engineers are having is that is that we do NOT work for the hospital and we are not held under JC or hospital employee requirements.
    We the vendor is having to pay this annual fee to VendorMate per each employee. Do you realize that cost to companies like GE, Siemens, Philips and Toshiba. Not only are we paying a huge annual fee $125.00, but also some online course for OR Understanding $50.00. Then our companies have to pay the employees the time it takes to complete online courses, doctor visits and additional medical cost for immunizations. Where do you think this cost is going to “trickle down” to? The customer will in the end have to pay more for the equipment/contracts. The vendors will have to make this cost up somewhere. This WILL and is going to drive up medical cost!

    Is it just me, but this is nothing other than a money issue! You are wanting to verify service engineers that have been servicing the same hospital for 10 + years and has personal relationships with doctors, techs or administrative staff. What about any “Joe” that walks in infected with TB or Hep, maybe a sex offender. But “Joe” is visiting his buddy or family member, so he is o.k, b/c whom he is there to see is a paying customer? Where does this make sense?

    Also they have a higher cost for someone in the OR or radiology department than a vendor that is in the administrative areas. As a service engineer that stays in the radiology department, I only may see a patients name, birthdate and weight. But what about the Copy repair guy who is working on the copier or printer that may be printing bills/medical reports with a patients name, address, s/n along with other data. They can download what was spooled or logged, off the system to service laptops Point being is that Credentialing companies need to do more homework. “sorry copier guys”

    Oh how are these Credentialing companies safeguarding our personal information?

  • 3. vendorcompliance  |  August 27, 2008 at 11:19 am

    You both raise some important points here. Thanks for commenting.

    To Ron,I’ll reply that the plethora of vendor credentialing approaches is already shaking out. But even with third party providers, we’ll see a self-defined standardization greater than if every hospital continued to address this independently. Already hospitals are banding together to create common standards. (E.g., WNCHN’s agreement with Vendromate).

    To Will, I’ll suggest that this is a cost that was already in the supply chain but masked. See the post ( “Publicly Available” Is Not the Same as “Free”. Also, healthcare systems are rolling more than Joint Commission interpretations into this effort. It’s about business and contracting due diligence, ensuring reimbursement for federally funded programs, ethics and compliance documentation PLUS patient safety.

    Thanks for commenting guys. Dialogue like this will help all sides define a reasonable response.

  • 4. Scrubs Make the Man « Vendor Compliance  |  September 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    […] person wearing scrubs to bypass hospital security.   I’ve even written about it in It Only Takes One.  It’s not unimportant.   But the past couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster in the […]


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