Project to improve patient privacy, security and quality standards at MUHC hospitals
A new program aimed at improving patient safety and quality care has been launched at McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) hospitals. The program, which is being conducted in collaboration with Vendorlink.ca, is the first of its kind in a large academic Quebec hospital. The initiative will ensure that all vendors are credentialed, meeting MUHC patient safety and quality standards, and receive official photo identification (ID) at every hospital visit. The new technology has already been implemented in the operating rooms at the Montreal General Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal Children's Hospital and Montreal Neurological Hospital. Broader implementation across the institution is now underway.
The MUHC works with vendors from approximately 2,000 different companies, annually. Vendors can range from medical device and pharmaceutical representatives, to construction contractors, many of whom require access to sensitive areas of the hospital, such as the operating rooms and Intensive Care Units. "At the MUHC we are focused on creating and sustaining a culture of safety," says Patricia Lefebvre, Director of Quality, Patient Safety and Performance. "As vendors are an integral part of the hospital's day-to-day operations and they spend a significant amount of time in clinical areas, it is crucial that they are aware of our quality and patient safety standards to apply them at all times."
Credentials are established based on the specific needs of the departments visited by the vendor and by the type of work being conducted. Vendors collaborating in the care of a vulnerable patient will be required to understand and respect MUHC patient safety and quality care guidelines. These may involve vendors completing courses on infection control, having an up to date vaccination record, undergoing governmental privacy training, as well as attestations of background checks and proof of product competency. If vendors do not have the expected credentials, they will not receive their temporary photo ID badge when they log-in to one of the vendor kiosks now located at MUHC hospitals' entrances and will be denied access.
"Hospital vendors are essential as they support our healthcare teams with many products and services", says Donna Stanbridge, Associate Director of Nursing - Perioperative/MDR Services at the MUHC. "Wearing identification badges similar to those of our hospital staff will ensure that everyone follows the same safety regulations and standards. Patients as well as staff will know who they are interacting with, and we will have peace of mind that vendors are adequately prepared through the hospital credentialing process and that patient safety and privacy are being respected." The system will remind hospital staff of scheduled visits and inform them when the vendors arrive. Additionally, the system can communicate useful information to the vendors, such as changes in appointment times and locations, as well as hospital statutory holidays.
"During the past three years, Vendorlink.ca has worked collaboratively with MUHC to ensure that the system is truly a reflection of their patient safety and quality needs", says Michelle Floh, President and CEO of Vendorlink.ca. "We are pleased that we have been able to incorporate features and functionality into our system that reflect Quebec's unique credentialing, access and transparency needs for healthcare vendors and contractors."
The MUHC is the first hospital in Quebec to implement the Vendorlink.ca solution, which is a budget neutral solution because costs are negotiated between Vendorlink.ca and the vendors themselves. The MUHC is also collaborating with Vendorlink.ca and other hospitals on credentialing standards to ensure that the processes are standardized for vendors.
MCGILL UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTRE