Focus on MEDEC members making a difference in Canadian Healthcare
Focus on MEDEC Members Making a Difference in Canadian Healthcare — MEDEC 2015
MEDEC Code of Conduct: Demonstrating Commitment to Ethical Business Practices The MEDEC Code of Conduct, which has recently been updated for 2015, is a valuable tool for supporting ethical business practices and socially responsible industry conduct, in light of the important relationship between member companies and health care professionals in meeting the healthcare needs of patients. “We know that our members are committed to conducting their businesses in alignment with accepted ethical practices, and the Code formalizes these practices by providing MEDEC Code of Conduct Certification” says Brian Lewis, MEDEC President and CEO. “Additionally, Code certification recognizes the increased expectation we are seeing for life science vendors, such as our members, to be aligned with a code of ethical practices.” Stephan Ekmekjian, Chair of MEDEC’s Code of Conduct Committee and Health Care Compliance Officer with Johnson & Johnson Canada, recently attended the APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum in Manilla. Mr. Ekmekjian was a facilitator and moderator at the event and he has been invited to join the long-standing APEC mentor group as MEDEC representative.
Best practices in interactions with health care providers R epresentatives of medical device companies are often required to enter hospitals and other health care facilities for many different reasons, including: training health care professionals on the safe and effective use of devices, demonstrating new and advanced technologies that can improve patient outcomes and increase system sustainability, or servicing vitally important medical equipment like an MRI. The members of MEDEC operate in the Canadian health care system in partnership with the medical community based on the strong foundation of the industry’s (MEDEC’s) Code of Conduct and are deeply committed to patient safety. MEDEC understands the desire by some health care institutions to implement credentialing requirements in order to coordinate admission to certain areas of their facilities by suppliers and external contractors. In Canada, the process of collecting and storing data for any credentialing system is influenced by a number of laws in the areas of privacy and human rights. These legal considerations, as well as the awareness of issues involving the vendor credentialing experience in the U.S., led to the effort to establish a vendor credentialing standard in Canada.
The situation in the US
The vendor credentialing cost implications on the U.S. health care system have been staggering – primarily due to the inconsistency in credentialing requirements across health care facilities. Vendor credentialing has added nearly $1 billion in costs to the health care system in the U.S. and many companies have had to hire internal staff in order to track and manage all of the differing training, background checks and health and safety requirements in order to become credentialed. www.hospitalnews.com
MEDEC understands the desire by some health care institutions to implement credentialing requirements in order to coordinate admission to certain areas of their facilities by suppliers and external contractors
Additional challenges are created by the various differences in timelines required for each of the credentialing requirements (some ask for annual updates, others biannual etc.). This lack of consistency has burdened the U.S. healthcare system with considerable and avoidable costs and caused significant confusion that has led to a loss of focus towards everyone’s shared objective of ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.
The HSCN national standard for vendor credentialing
With a keen understanding of the challenges faced in the US and with Canadian privacy and human rights laws in mind, in 2012 the Healthcare Supply Chain Network (HSCN), a Canadian association comprised of health care provider and supplier professionals (hospital representatives, shared services and group purchasing organizations and industry representatives), developed a Canadian National Standard for Vendor Credentialing. MEDEC has fully endorsed the HSCN National Standard for Vendor Credentialing in Canada. It’s an efficient, effective, and reasonable solution that allows for health care providers who have adopted the standard to log onto a
password protected website in order to view attestations by vendor companies who have completed the requirements of the Standard, which include elements that deal with a variety of things such as immunizations and training.
The HSCN national standard:
• Creates consistency • Avoids the excessive and unnecessary duplication and resulting costs experienced in the U.S. • Addresses Canadian legal issues that form barriers for vendors to meet their credentialing requirements • Is adaptable – by virtue of HSCN’s position and its membership from the provincial and territorial health care provider community and vendors, it is a perfect forum for the evolution of the standard if laws and practices changeover time The HSCN Standard has also been implemented by Health Shared Service British Columbia (HSSBC), which covers all health care providers in the province and it’s been recently been recognized by Québec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services as the acceptable standard for Québec health care facilities to rely upon if credentialing is deemed necessary (as of January 1st, 2016). The Standard provides consistency and ensures that the privacy and human rights of supplier representatives are respected, while allowing Canadian health care organizations to achieve their credentialing objectives without overburdening the system with unnecessary costs. It is for these reasons that MEDEC fully endorses the HSCN National Standard for Vendor Credentialing. For more information about the HSCN National Standard for Vendor Credentialing, please visit: http://www. H hscn.org/national-standard.aspx ■
Changes in 2015 Code MEDEC’s restated code expands into important new areas, including the following. • On-site Product Demonstrations and the need for documentation between the health care organization and company to outline the purpose, duration, equipment and scope of the demonstration. • Site Visits which are necessary to evaluate products. Whenever possible, site visits should occur in Canada. Companies should fund expenses only for attendees with a bona fide professional interest in the equipment. • Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs). Reminder that each company is responsible to train TPIs on various foreign and local anti-bribery and health care compliance policies, including training on the company’s own internal compliance program. • Greater Clarity and Addition of Glossary – The MEDEC Code of Conduct Committee amended sections of the document to provide greater clarity and added a glossary so that there is common understanding of the terms being referenced. These code updates were made to reflect the changing expectations within business and health care environments. The principles of the code, which is a “living” document, are regularly updated. Originally developed by MEDEC member companies in 2005, it was updated in December 2009, September 2012 and April 2015 by the MEDEC Code of Conduct Committee. “There is growing recognition about the need for codes of ethics around the world,” says Stephan Ekmekjian, Chair, MEDEC Code of Conduct Committee, who recently represented the association at the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Ethics for SMEs Forum. “In the APEC region, for example, the number of such codes has soared from 33 in 2012 to 65, representing 19,000 firms, including 13,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, in the medical device and biopharmaceutical sectors. I take pride in MEDEC leading the way in Canada with our code to safeguard our members’ business relationships with health care professionals, affirm legitimate business practices and, ultimately, enhance patient care.” FEBRUARY 2015 HOSPITAL NEWS
Technology in Healthcare, Patient Experience & Hospital Performance Indicators. Special MEDEC Annual Supplement.