Managing healthcare vendors amid COVID-19
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.
1. Understand and stay aware of changes to the CDC guidelines
Review the CDC guidelines within your organization to ensure that everyone understands the current guidelines. Continue to monitor the CDC updates for any changes - you can sign up for COVID-19 email alerts to stay in the know.
2. Clearly communicate your facility’s COVID-19 approach and policies to your vendors
While there’s currently no vaccine available for COVID-19, it’s important to emphasize to vendors that the health and safety of everyone depends on vigilant self-reporting. Within your vendor credentialing system, you may take the approach of developing a vendor policy that outlines the symptoms and indicators of COVID-19, and have vendors agree that they will not visit your facility if they exhibit any symptoms. In addition to outlining a policy, we recommend sending a mass communication to your vendors reinforcing the policy’s guidelines and asking for their participation in minimizing risk to vulnerable populations.
3. Train your staff and practitionersHelp your staff understand your facility’s approach to COVID-19 and how it affects vendors. If relevant, train your staff to understand the symptoms and indicators for COVID-19 and to be aware of steps they should take should they encounter someone with symptoms.
4. Ask for active confirmation from vendors that they are not exhibiting symptomsIf possible, ask vendors to acknowledge that they are not exhibiting any symptoms during the check-in process at your facility. As CDC guidelines may change over time, make sure that your confirmation covers all relevant guidelines and symptoms so that vendors understand any indicators that may be worth self-reporting.
5. Keep communicating - calmly
As more information is uncovered about COVID-19, continue to communicate with your vendors and staff the information that is relevant to them and how you’re managing to the changes. The best way to keep operational needs moving is to communicate clearly, calmly and continually as the situation evolves and changes.
At symplr, we are continuously engaging our supply chain customers who are managing to this ever-evolving situation, and are working hard to ensure that you have the most relevant information to further communicate to your staff and vendor partners. If you have any questions about how we can support you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your symplr account manager or firstname.lastname@example.org.