Henry Ford health system: New and strict vendor policies begin Jan. 1

December 18, 2006

Beginning Jan. 1, Henry Ford Health System will implement a series of strict and unique policies - including the nation's first certification of vendors for medical facilities - aimed at eliminating potential conflict of interest between relationships with vendors and employees.

This move is in keeping with the 'just-say-no' approach espoused by the American Medical Association and other health care leaders, ranging from Stanford University School of Medicine to the University School of Medicine to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, all of whom have adopted similar policies to create a clearer divide between medicine and product marketing.

Among its unique features is a policy that requires medical, surgical and pharmaceutical vendors visiting a Henry Ford location to be certified through a Henry Ford-sponsored certification class, obtain identification and make appointments in advance. The cost for the certification class and the Henry Ford badge is $100 and is due at the time of the training.

The certification program insures that vendors visiting a Henry Ford location are knowledgeable regarding all policies, procedures, and requirements including those addressing privacy and confidentiality.

"The new vendor policy eliminates uninvited vendor access to Henry Ford physicians and patients without prior written consent, in addition to prohibiting free lunches, small gifts and other perks," says Mark Kelley, M.D., CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group.

The policies were developed with patient safety in mind and will restrict the number of unknown products entering Henry Ford, set up protocols for product reviews, establish an evaluation, education, and communication process to track new products, and allow a more professional relationship with vendors.

These include: In addition, any vendor participating or observing in a clinical procedure area will have additional requirements related to health and safety and are required to wear black scrubs to be easily identified.

Vendors will receive a status of their appointment request via e-mail with a confirmation of their appointment. They must stop at the location designated by the confirmation to check in on appointment day with a copy of the appointment confirmation.

Promotional products of any kind, food supplied by vendors or literature distributed by vendors, will no longer permitted at any Henry Ford site.

Henry Ford Health System

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