The relationships between vendors and healthcare organizations are highly complex and data-intensive. In a perfect world, each of these relationships would be documented and maintained in a hospital’s vendor master list–without fail. Although we don’t live in that perfect world, there are still many steps your health system can take to achieve a best-in-class vendor management system.
The first step toward building a better vendor management system is recognizing the inadequacies of your current process. If your system is noticing errors like duplicate payments and returned payments, then there may be a gap in your current system. Rather than push through these errors as they occur, commit to improving them.
We know it’s easier said than done, but you simply can’t have a best-in-class vendor management system if your current vendor list isn’t maintained. A well-organized healthcare vendor list should be:
Because the vendor master is constantly updated, having everything correct once is not enough to promise long-term success for a health system. Your hospital must designate a group of staff responsible for ensuring a certain standard, and create a system of checks and balances for when those standards are not met.
Once you have selected exactly who is responsible for updating the item master, you must outline how they do so. Process mapping is an excellent way to illustrate how updated information will flow through different departments and into the item master. Even when errors occur, you should implement procedures for how they are handled. With every error, we tell our own staff to ask and answer:
Organizing and managing your vendor list is a lengthy process. It pays to have a strategic partner leading the charge for you and identifying ways to improve. Call the experienced healthcare auditors at The Audit Group. Our work streamlines your processes without interrupting them.