Columns Vaccine Requirements: How to Work with Vendors and Frame Reps We are all tired of the constantly changing landscape. Good communication and planning can enhance the relationship between employees and vendors in charting our path out of the pandemic. Published 2 years ago on October 11, 2021 By Carissa Dunphy and Cira Collins Share Tweet THE CDC GUIDELINES to control the spread of COVID-19 are leading both state governments and individual employers to mandate vaccinations for healthcare workers. There are currently 22 states that have mandated vaccines for healthcare workers, most of which also include contractors, vendors and volunteers who work on-site in a healthcare setting. With penalties ranging from misdemeanors or fines to termination or action being taken against a provider’s credentials, it behooves us all to work together. No matter your position on the vaccine debate, mandates are increasing vaccination rates in workplaces. In one example, shared in The New York Times’s “The Morning” newsletter, a hospital chain that spans 22 states saw an increase from 75% of healthcare workers being vaccinated before any mandates, to 94% after the mandate. Does my state mandate affect me? My vendors? The first step is to find out what and who your state’s proclamation specifically addresses. Leadingage.org has created a listing of state’s requirement specifications and includes links to the details. While you are reviewing how it applies to you, look for the specifics of what constitutes valid proof of vaccination. Ultimately, the best source of information for your state is to check with your State’s Health Authority. Advertisement How do I request my vendors follow the state mandate? Vendors may be employed by a company and thus subject to their employer’s policies, or they may be an independent contractor. The best way to ensure the person walking into your clinic is vaccinated, is to ask the individual for proof. Here are some tips: Send an email to your vendors. You will very likely not be the first request they have received like this. Rely on the state’s wording to support your reasoning for asking for the documentation. While your letter can provide the tone you wish to set and details of your requirements, an additional short summary will garner greater compliance. Be clear about what you accept as valid proof. Consider accepting a photo of a vaccination card or use of a health passport application like Clear Health Pass or CommonPass to help you keep information organized. If your state allows weekly testing, set clear expectations about how your vendor will share their negative test results with you before your visit. Things to consider if your vendor or frame rep is not vaccinated. Virtual visits: Share your on-hand inventory with your rep so they may identify pieces sold and discontinued product. They likely have clever ways of sharing new products or being of service. Ask them for what alternatives have been successful. Opticians: Consider ending your relationship with a vendor whose product or service you no longer need if your requirements cannot be met. Reps: Look for new partnership opportunities where your vaccination card or creative work-arounds can be your ticket in the door. Advertisement We are all tired of the constantly changing landscape. Good communication and planning can enhance the relationship between employees and vendors in charting our path out of the pandemic. Considering how impactful the consequences of non-compliance can be, starting the conversations now will ensure smooth transitions when mandate deadlines arrive. Read what ECPs had to say about this topic in INVISION’s latest Real Deal. 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