COVID Prompts New Standards Around PPE and Wellness Screenings for Medical Supplier Representatives Visiting Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare worker in full PPE

COVID-19 impacted every function and protocol of the U.S. healthcare system, including vendor credentialing for medical suppliers and providers. Although crucial for optimal patient care, implementing effective vendor credentialing at medical facilities presents challenges that generate $2 billion in incremental costs per year across the industry.

Before the pandemic, care facilities risked a number of negative outcomes if their credentialing procedures experienced gaps in design and execution, including:

  • Reputation risk for both facilities and suppliers
  • Loss of business opportunities if procedures are delayed or canceled
  • Risk to protected patient health information

COVID multiplied those threats because the medical industry struggled in the early days of the pandemic to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) and to administer wellness screenings for all visitors.

Institutions quickly implemented their own solutions, but inconsistencies created some challenges for everyone involved, putting more time and financial constraints on an already cumbersome system—and placing patient care at risk.

Introducing Standards

To address those inconsistencies, C4UHC and other medical industry stakeholders, including vendors, healthcare providers, regulators, accreditors, trade associations, and VCOs, met to update the ANSI/NEMA SC1–American National Standard for Vendor Credentialing in Healthcare.

The group created new standards around PPE distribution and supplier representative wellness screenings to apply to “novel viruses/communicable diseases” to address any other future situations, not just COVID.

The revisions offer a number of benefits increasing consistency and safety for all stakeholders involved in medical vendor credentialing including:

  • Standardized wellness screenings that mitigate risk; PPE that is prioritized to providers where it is most needed
  • PPE designated as being appropriate for representatives based on healthcare providers’ clinical determination
  • PPE fit tests and training that leverage providers’ experience in fitting and usage of particular protective equipment

C4UHC Past Chairman Rhett Suhre recently shared what these new standards are, how they came to be updated and how both healthcare providers and suppliers benefit from these revisions.

C4UHC Presents to MITA (Video)

Watch the video below for Mr. Suhre’s presentation to the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA).