3 Vendor Audits Healthcare Organizations Need for an Efficient Contingent Workforce

Contingent workers are a surging part of today’s healthcare workforce. Medical institutions that rely on this type of labor know that suppliers such as staffing agencies or travel nurse firms are a core element of their program. Making sure they’re compliant with your medical organization’s own standards is imperative to ensure the success of the program.

Contingent labor in healthcare involves a range of different roles—from travel nurses to physicians, allied health clinicians, and other non-clinical professionals. Compliance processes often become more intricate when contingent labor is involved, hence why healthcare institutions turn to solutions like vendor management systems (VMS).

No program can be truly compliant without audits. Conducting internal examinations to check compliance across all of your vendors should be a mandatory step in your program from day one.

Here are three audits you should conduct on a regular basis to ensure your suppliers are fully compliant with your program requirements:

1. Candidate Compliance Fulfillment

Vendor management systems go a long way in strengthening compliance management at the candidate level. Technology can automate and track this process, saving a lot of admin time for medical institutions.

For example, you can gather all candidate compliance requirement items such as confidentiality agreements, vaccines, or drug screening in the system. As each of these items will be date and time stamped, you can receive notifications when any item is near expiration.

In addition to VMS technology, you would still need occasional manual inspections to ensure that all items comply with your program. Even when items are marked as complete, you may sometimes encounter errors with compliance items such as:

  • Submitting the wrong documents
  • Uploading documents without signatures
  • Entering personal data in the wrong sections (jeopardizing data privacy compliance)

A good rule of thumb to mitigate these issues is to conduct two-part audits. The first audit is to track lacking documents or expiring compliance. The second is to check the submitted compliance documentation and identify vendors that struggle to meet your organization’s standards.

MUST-HAVE RESOURCES | ‘Example Vendor Audit Checklist’ 

2. Vendor Contract Management

Keeping all the vendor contract information on hand and in one place will prevent many headaches in the future. A perfect place to store this data is in your VMS. Keeping contracts with suppliers’ already-existing records in the system facilitates data management and makes it easier for you to check vendor status. You especially need to track documentation such as:

  • Master service agreements or staffing agreements
  • Insurance certificates
  • Diversity status tracking

Furthermore, these items need to go through audits regularly to make sure you’re not working with noncompliant vendors that could put your organization at risk.

READ MORE HEALTHCARE-RELATED CONTENT | ‘4 Ways a VMS Can Help Healthcare Organizations Find the Right Talent

3. Pay-Rate Comparison

This step isn’t mandatory but could be beneficial for any organization working with healthcare staffing agencies and other contingent labor suppliers. Whether to include it or not in your strategy depends on the level of control you want to achieve. For some organizations, verifying that the bill rate aligns with the contract is enough. Others want to ensure that the pay rate and markup align with the contracted rates.

Bill rates for travel nurses, for example, have been constantly increasing in recent years—that’s a trend that any healthcare facility would want to track in their own programs. Furthermore, nurses apply time to different rate types (regular, on-call, or holiday shifts). With the help of a VMS, you can make sure all pay rates are being set up as per contract or are similar across different health departments.

A VMS’s reporting features should help you audit pay rates. Their reporting capabilities can help you determine rate fluctuations in similar positions across different departments, positions, and managers. Though discrepancies don’t happen often as the majority of the healthcare industry has standardized pricing, you would definitely want to know if it happens in your medical institution!

HANDPICKED FOR YOU | ‘A Buyer’s Guide for Vendor Management Systems: Healthcare Edition

Ready Your Program for Compliance Excellence

You should always consider compliance a high-priority process in your program, no matter if you’re running it through a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or managing it internally.

If conducting regular audits seems too overwhelming for your organization to handle, a hybrid VMS solution might be exactly what you need. VectorVMS’s Shared Managed Services allow you to have direct access to experts who can take the pressure out of auditing. You can let our team tackle the details of your contingent labor management, while you focus on the areas that truly matter to you.

Do you want to know more about how our solution applies to your healthcare organization? Send us a message. Our team of experts will be happy to guide you through our technology!