Before the introduction and implementation of vendor credentialing protocols by various hospitals among other healthcare facilities; anyone could walk into a healthcare facility without being questioned. Interestingly, patients file were kept in the open in some hospitals and individuals could access the files without interrogations of their interests in the files.

A brief history of vendor credentialing indicates that despite there being some form of vendor credentialing procedures, they were rarely enforced. With time hospitals’ security personnel impounded pressure on the administration to scrutinize their vendors in a bid to improve the quality of healthcare. Vendor credentialing is aimed at reducing patients’ and medical organizations’ vulnerability to various safety, security, and privacy threats.  

The current healthcare environment which is complex, sensitive, and political has amounted to much greater concerns in matters pertaining to patients’ protection as well as minimization of business risks. This has seen most healthcare facilities delegate their vendor credentialing roles to third parties such as  hospital vendor credentialing by; these third parties have invested in more rigorous, sophisticated and robust vendor credentialing programs, that healthcare facilities were having challenges implementing.

There are various types of credentialing services that hospitals among other healthcare facilities can implement, these include;

General Credentialing

It doesn’t have to be vendors alone, anyone entering your facility can be screened and verified. Although it can seem overwhelming and unmanageable, software such as Symplr can revolutionize the check in process in any healthcare facility regardless of the size and influx of different parties. The staff, families, contractors, and everyone in between can have their different requirements managed.

The importance of general credentialing is that it eliminates or minimizes the possibility of any malicious persons fulfilling their malicious intentions of harming patients, workers, or damaging company’s reputation. Additionally, through visitor management, it prevents unwanted access to various sections of the facility where certain parties are prohibited.

Exclusion Screening

The Office of  Inspector General (OIG) requires that healthcare organizations receiving federal funding screen all individuals and entities directly or indirectly involved with patients care for healthcare exclusions. This should be done at least once per month.

To take control of healthcare screening needs, healthcare organizations require secure, fast, and accurate screening tools mostly offered by thirds parties. The screening process should look into OIG’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE), among several other lists such as Excluded Parties List System (EPLS).

Vendor credentialing

Finally, it is important that healthcare institutions exclusively investigate different vendors whom they engage or look forward to engaging in different contracts. This practice eliminates or minimizes any conflicting interests in the procurement process as well as the chances of healthcare institutions engaging vendors who are under the OIG’s spotlight for acting unprofessionally.   

Being a legal requirement, most hospitals should focus on either investing in robust credentialing systems or source out their responsibilities to reputable third parties. This will not only save them the penalties of engaging rogue stakeholders but also boost both patients’ and organizations’ safety.