New Year Policy Resolutions

March 4, 2009 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

Business policies, like New Year resolutions, are written with the best intentions.  With a new policy in place, operations will be more efficient.   Universal understanding will be achieved.   Expenses will be reduced and profits will soar.

These policies, like resolutions, are enthusiastically followed the first few months.   Then they are forgotten.   Keeping a policy “live” over time takes effort.   Requires changes in core behaviors.  

A recent article in Health-System Pharmacy News, quoted Dave Hicks, the University of Chicago Medical Center’s chief pharmacy officer, talking about their Vendormate-based vendor management application. 

Hicks said the medical center already had a vendor-management policy in place, but compliance was inadequate.

“The vendor would make an appointment with somebody at the hospital, and that would get them through security,” Hicks explained. “And then they’d spend the day in the hospital trolling the hallways, essentially, and looking for people to have ad hoc conversations with.”

Hicks said the Vendormate system helped put teeth into the existing policy (emphasis added).  The program rollout also included education for staff about permitted vendor activities and the medical center’s expectations for vendor behavior.

I’ll wager that the success University of Chicago and Hicks now are experiencing in policy compliance is based on the behaviors driven by educating the staff and the appointments and sign in process, rather than any new policy. 

It’s not that the intent to comply wasn’t there before.   Just like every night that I went to bed, intending to get up early and exercise.   But come morning,  the existing behavior of hitting the snooze bar was already there.   Changing that behavior didn’t require a new, “don’t hit the snooze bar” policy, but it did require moving the alarm clock out of arm’s reach.

Entry filed under: Pharmaceuticals, vendor compliance, vendor management. Tags: , , , , .

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