Vendor Program Audits: The Documents

June 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm Leave a comment

When I introduced this series of posts about how hospitals are auditing participation in vendor programs, I used the analogy of my son’s inability to effectively use an agenda to keep up with his homework.   Just to keep beating that horse, let’s compare homework to the documents that buyers want from their vendors.

It continues to amaze my son that the completed homework he left on the kitchen table or in the bottom of his locker doesn’t count to his teachers.  And for vendor reps, just as with homework, having the document isn’t enough.  Unfortunately, it’s not enough to say, “I did it,” or “I’ve had that training.”   It actually has to be turned in for credit.   And that’s one of the key drivers for vendor programs in healthcare and banking — Document Management.   Collecting.  Storing.  Tracking expirations.   

I find out when my son has forgotten to turn in homework through the school’s “document audit website” — or as they call it, online student report.   I log in, pull up his name, select a class, and review the assignments.   At a glance, I can see any missing assignments.  

Many of our customers turn to the Document Audit Report inside Vendormate VISION as the first step in their vendor program audits.   The Document Audit Report allows customers to check the status of all their registered companies and registered reps against any or all the required documents.   The status identifies completed, alert (about to expire) or missing/expired documents.   

One of our customers recently changed its product trial program to protect itself from unexpected expenses.   Any product brought in for trial now needs a no-charge purchase order.  If not, the trial product is considered a donation.    

Vendormate sent an alert out to all registered reps who might be affected by this type of policy.   Homework analogy — everyone received the handout. 

Three weeks later, a document audit report across all these same reps showed that 9 of 10 had acknowledged the new policy.  Homework analogy — 9 of 10 in the class completed the assignment and turned it in.

For the remaining 1 in 10, I guess it’s detention.   Not really, but reporting like this makes it easy for the hospital to identify and manage the remaining reps as exceptions.  And for any of these people with a pattern of non-compliance, the consequences could be significant.  

The point is vendor compliance is not once and done.   Situations change.   Staff changes.   And your program has to adapt.   Program audit techniques like this help you determine whether or not your program is achieving your goals

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

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