What is Vendor Credentialing and why is it so important?
by Paul Kazlauskas
What is Vendor Credentialing?
Hospital vendor credentialing is the authorization process that a medical vendor sales representative must go through in order to be allowed access into a hospital or healthcare facility. In the United States, vendor representatives are not allowed to enter a healthcare facility for business purposes without the approval and credentials from the hospital’s vendor credentialing system.
Vendor credentialing is a critical process that helps ensure the well-being and safety of both staff and their patients. Once vendor representatives check into the hospital to verify they are credentialed, they are given a badge that outlines which areas of the building they are authorized to be in.
Why is Vendor Credentialing important?
Hospital vendor credentialing is important because it is a proactive step for healthcare organizations’ administrators to take towards protecting the patients and the organization. Hospital vendor credentialing helps minimize a hospital or clinic’s exposure to risk by establishing safeguards and decision support for the organization, specifically around access.
The important first step is knowing and understanding who your current vendors are. It isn’t easy to keep vendor credentialing system data clean, accurate, and free of duplicates, but it’s an important step in good vendor management.
Once you know who your vendors are, the next thing to consider is if they are approved to conduct their business in your healthcare facility. A company (a.k.a. vendor) is a organization authorized to conduct business legally by a State Secretary of State. A Secretary of State (or equivalent) is responsible for registering companies and enforcing their compliance with required documents and reporting. A company is issued a Certificate of Good Standing if it can demonstrate compliance with certain required filings, such as annual reports, tax certificates, and registration. Annual renewal is required.
What information should you collect and check from your vendors when they register?
- Legal name of entity
- DBA, if applicable
- Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN)
- Address of company
- Secretary of State ID number (helpful, when available)
- Information of owners with 5% or more ownership stake (Name, SSN, Address, DOB)
- State of incorporation
- Dunn & Bradstreet Number (helpful when searching SAM.gov)
- Whether the vendor handles personal identifiable information (PII) or personal health information (PHI)
- Whether or not the vendor has signed a business associate agreement (BAA)
Do your vendors check in every time they visit? How do you know?
Make sure you can SEE your vendor is always using a valid badge. Our badges with EXPIRING technology change color over time so your vendors can’t reuse them to bypass the front desk. This means vendors will have to check in each time they enter your facility.
VALID today... ...VOID tomorrow
These adhesive badges work with vendor credentialing systems like Vendormate, Reptrax, and Symplr (VCS), as well as any other visitor management system that uses rolled direct-thermal or inkjet printers like these:
Start adding an additional layer of security to your vendor credentialing process.
Want the latest, best security practices delivered straight to your inbox? Enter your email address in the "Subscribe" area (on the left side navigation).
Posted on 4/16/2021