SMI Welcomes AORN Endorsement of Vendor Access Guidelines

Scituate, MA (June 13, 2007):  The Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI) is pleased to announce that the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Board of Directors endorsed their Management Guidelines for Vendor Access. SMI's Management Guidelines for Vendor Access (VAG) were developed by one of the SMI multi-disciplinary teams made up of representatives from healthcare provider organizations as well as healthcare manufacturers, distributors, IT companies and service providers. In 2006, SMI selected vendor access guidelines as one of its prioritized areas to tackle in order to make progressive improvements within the health care supply chain. 

As part of its process to promote collaboration among the various participants of the health care supply chain, SMI distributed the proposed Vendor Access Guidelines in late 2006 and solicited input from a variety of healthcare industry associations, including the AORN. The AORN responded to the invitation by not only thanking SMI for the opportunity to provide feedback but by also taking the highly encouraging step of endorsing the guidelines. AORN President, Mary Jo Steiert, conveyed on behalf of the AORN Board of Directors, "We are excited about this partnership to establish best practices for managing vendor access within the healthcare facilities." SMI is very pleased with this important step toward achieving its vision to help shape a more efficient health care supply chain. Tom Hughes, SMI Executive Director, shared his enthusiasm about this step in saying, "This is a major step in continuing to build best practices on standards that benefit the entire healthcare industry. We are tremendously pleased by the AORN decision and it further motivates our efforts to share our developments with everyone." 

In keeping with the SMI vision to shape an improved, more efficient health care supply chain for the benefit of the entire industry, the SMI Management Guidelines for Vendor Access (VAG) are available for free download on the SMI website under Tools. The voluntary SMI guidelines are intended to provide a suggested roadmap that can be customized to fit an individual provider's or supplier's unique needs. The guidelines also include an easy to use checklist for assessing an organization's current policy and practices. 

About SMI:
The Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI) is a not-for-profit corporation comprised of senior-level executives representing diverse disciplines from the healthcare supply chain. Membership includes executives from the country’s largest integrated delivery networks (IDNs) as well as healthcare manufacturers, distributors, IT companies and service providers. SMI members have joined together to drive operational efficiencies, and implement process improvement across the healthcare supply chain. 

SMI was formed to provide a venue where collaborative teams work together to address industry issues and implement best practices, shaping the future of the healthcare supply chain value stream. SMI acts as a change agent for healthcare, and introduces non-healthcare related best practices and technologies to the healthcare supply chain. Through collaboration, tools and techniques are developed and shared that members are able to take back to their organizations and customize to meet their unique needs. SMI is dedicated to improving the supply chain and to that end, all findings, improvements, processes, and established best practices are shared with the entire healthcare marketplace. 

Visit the SMI web site for more information about SMI and its on-going initiatives.