The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) in partnership with the Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing (C4UHC or the Consortium) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has revised the 2019 American National Standard for Supplier Credentialing in Healthcare to include additional provisions that address urgent challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other updates.
In the summer of 2020, recognizing the historic healthcare-related disruptions instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a consensus body was convened to update the standard based on several unprecedented challenges associated with the public health emergency (PHE). Consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other applicable governmental guidelines, the updated standard includes additional sections addressing supplier representative screening for novel viruses and communicable illnesses, as well as new supplier requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE), among other provisions.
“This updated standard is a testament to the adaptability of MITA and the Consortium in responding to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and the turbulence it has caused across America’s health care industry,” said Michael Wendt, senior vice president of customer services, Siemens Healthineers, and MITA Board Chairman. “With updated requirements addressing, among other areas, the utilization of PPE and communicable disease screening, we believe this will be a valuable resource that can reduce risk and increase confidence among supplier representatives and the providers they serve.”
“Development through an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited process means that this standard reflects the consensus views of a broad coalition of interested and affected parties,” said Mickey Kaufman, executive director for C4UHC. “We are therefore pleased to announce the finalization of recent updates to the Supplier Credentialing Standard and anticipate their swift adoption into health care settings.”
“The recent update to the standard is a reflection of the clarity of purpose between all affected parties and our recognition of the new realities imposed by the pandemic,” said Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Executive Director and CEO Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN. “We applaud all those who engaged in transparent, sincere collaboration to ensure this document can help address the needs of health care workers as they continue to support patients and colleagues impacted by COVID-19.”
In addition to the pandemic-related revisions, the standard was also updated to align with recently issued CDC tuberculosis testing guidelines.
As required by ANSI, the initial development and subsequent updating process for the standard was predicated on an open and transparent process involving a broad group of affected parties. Participants in the consensus body included: Abbott, Abiomed Inc., AdvaMed, AORN, ASCA, AstraZeneca, Block Imaging Parts & Service, Cleveland Clinic, Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing, Corporate Health Resources Inc., DNVGL Healthcare, GHX, Intermountain Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Mayo Clinic, Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), Medtronic, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, National Medical Systems, OhioHealth, Pfizer, Philips, ProTech Compliance Inc., Siemens Healthineers, SMI Supply Chain, STERIS, symplr, TriMedx, U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and W. L. Gore & Associates Inc.
Originally developed to establish requirements for supplier credentialing in a health care environment, the standard brought consistency to credentialing processes with the goal of mitigating risk, increasing accuracy and efficiency, and reducing unnecessary costs for the U.S. health care system and its patients. In 2019, MITA and its standard-setting parent association, NEMA, as well as C4UHC, collaborated with a broad coalition of health care providers, suppliers, hospitals and vendor credentialing organizations to develop and publish the standard.
The standard is available on the NEMA website.