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On a typical day, managing vendors and visitors coming in and out of your healthcare facility or health system is a big job. The negative ramifications of improper screening and verification ripple through patient safety, quality, compliance, and efficiency. In the midst of disasters or crises like the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are adapting quickly, managing new or different populations entering facilities, many even going as far as instituting a total lockdown. While you can never fully prepare for the unknown, start by ensuring you have readily accessible documentation of essential vendors. What’s considered indispensable will vary by organization and will be defined by the situation at hand. Nevertheless, your “essential” list can serve as a starting point that shaves crucial time during emergencies.
Much of the current news coverage about the novel Coronavirus is focused on dealing with equipment shortages, such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). These material goods are vital to the COVID-19 response. An equally important component to a successful response is ensuring that the front-line staff who will be caring for patients can be successfully deployed in a way that ensures the best patient care possible while also protecting staff from unsafe work conditions and burnout.
Medical staff services departments (MSSD) that partner with remote or third-party credentialing verification organizations (CVO) augment their staffs for the crucial tasks of primary source verification (PSV) or payer enrollment. As a result, synchronizing efforts is essential for success. It might entail creating zones or boundaries, adjusting policies or processes, beefing up communication channels, or adopting new tech protocols. Even internal CVOs that don’t share the same physical space as the MSSD likely can identify areas where they’ve embraced a lone wolf policy that doesn’t contribute to the cohesion of the whole. Cultivate these five habits to strengthen the medical staff/health plan and CVO partnership when remote staff are used.
At the end of 2019, a novel virus was identified as the cause of a cluster of pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan. As we now know, the COVID-19 outbreak spread to include over 80,000 cases in China and an increasing number of cases in other countries, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare Coronavirus or COVID-19 (initially called 2019-nCoV) a public health emergency of international concern.
As the healthcare community rallies to understand and respond to COVID-19, patient safety and minimizing risk within your healthcare facility is of the utmost importance. While vendors are an important part of your facility’s day to day operations, it’s important that you, and they, understand the symptoms and risk indicators of COVID-19 to ensure that patient and staff safety is maintained. Here are our best-practice recommendations for ensuring your vendor credentialing program is in alignment with CDC guidelines and facilitating communication with your vendor population.
Hotels feature walls made of succulents and greet travelers with warm chocolate chip cookies on arrival. The elevator at the building downtown pipes in calming nature sounds. Movie theaters feel like plush living rooms. Now, the enhanced experiences consumers expect and receive elsewhere are coming to healthcare facilities. But more importantly, your organization’s quality scores and reimbursement levels increasingly depend on the ability to deliver an overall positive patient experience through improvements like hospitality and ambiance.