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Friday, August 24, 2018

Making Rep Credentialing a Top Priority

While we work hard to avoid mistakes, they also are an opportunity for learning and growth. It may be painful in the moment but over the long run the not-so-perfect can be a catalyst for positive change. This was the case for a leading medical manufacturer when they began to truly understand the importance of credentialing their reps to their customers.

As described in a Summit20 Talk at the recent GHX Supply Chain Summit, a healthcare provider customer expressed their dissatisfaction with reps arriving at their facilities without completing the proper credentials. Even though the company was certainly doing many things right to serve their customer, it was obvious that they did not grasp the importance of credentialing to this organization, their staff, and their patients. Not only did they have an unhappy customer, it was costly for the company. The only credentialed employee that could serve this customer was across the country — time and money lost to complete this assignment. This was a turning point.

Painful as it was at the time, this was a lightbulb moment. Once the crisis was resolved, they turned their attention toward steps that would ensure that every field employee was credentialed. In one year, they went from 26 to over 170 compliant staff. 

Lessons learned in the process: 

  • Listen to your customers. Your customers are passionate about their work and feel the pride of ownership in their facility and their care of staff and patients— “this is our house and our rules, this is what we ask of you to do to enter our house”. This is about relationship and even customer experience. It can have positive implications for enduring partnerships.
  • It takes some perseverance to educate the leadership team on the value of credentialing and gain their buy-in. When your team is not following credentialing requirements you probably have unhappy customers. If that’s the case, you can only hope that you get to hear about it when there is still time to do something. 
  • Credentialing is not a one-and-done activity. The requirements have an expiration and must be updated or renewed on a regular basis and sometimes the turn-around time is very tight — 24 to 48 hours. Credentialing is time consuming for individuals trying to meet the requirements of every facility they visit and there are multiple credentialing companies. To keep everything current, your reps will need help.
  • Credentialing doesn’t naturally fall into any one internal department. It is not an HR initiative, although it can impact a customer relationship it doesn’t belong to customer service, nor does it fall into the sales department. It doesn’t generate revenue, but it can impact revenue if your sales team is turned away from customer visits or worse — you lose the customer relationship altogether. The nature of credentialing means that it needs dedicated attention, whether that is from internal or external resources.

 For this manufacturer compliance is a part of the culture of their business today. It elevates their brand with customers demonstrating their commitment to honor their customers with action in that they take credentialing seriously as a requirement to do business with them. They drive compliance to protect the patient, their customer and even their own employees.

 Working with Vendormate had specific advantages — instilling best practices and streamlining their processes. Rep credentialing documents are now stored in a secure repository, protecting the privacy of their employees and the corporation. The executive buy-in, an improved corporate culture of compliance and the ease of the process led to a significant increase in the number of individuals that maintain proper credentials.

Learn more about GHX Vendormate Credentialing.

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