Vendor Liaison Office, Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Vendor Liaison Office (VLO)?
The purpose of the VLO is to manage vendor representatives of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. The VLO is in charge of registering and badging vendors, as well as maintaining a database of vendors and monitoring their activities.
The VLO ensures that vendors are adhering to UW Hospital and Clinics policies in order to protect physician and staff efficiency and integrity, to avoid disruption of care and to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality.
Do I need to register?
Yes, all vendors of all clinical materials (drugs, medical/surgical supplies, imaging and laboratory technology - anything that is involved in the care of patients, either directly or indirectly) must register. However, there are a couple of exceptions delineated in UW Hospital and Clinics policy Regulation of Vendor Representatives and the Vendor Liaison Office (pdf).
Do I need to pay a registration fee and secure a photo ID badge?
Most vendor representatives do need to pay a fee and obtain a photo ID badge. All vendor representatives with sales, marketing, or promotional responsibilities must pay the annual registration fee and obtain a photo ID badge. Vendor representatives who do not have a sales responsibility (for example, research staff, service personnel, etc.) do not need to pay the fee or secure a badge but still must register. The current registration fee is $200 per vendor representative per year.
My district sales managers visits UW Hospital and Clinics once or twice a year with me. Do they need to register, obtain a badge or pay the registration fee?
They must register. However, if you have registered, obtained a badge, paid the fee and listed the sales manager's name as your supervisor on your registration form, the manager does not need to obtain a badge or pay a fee.
UW Hospital and Clinics doesn't currently buy my product, but I am trying to change that. Do I need to register, obtain a badge or pay the registration fee?
Yes to all of the above. All vendor representatives, regardless of whether they currently sell products to UW Hospital and Clinics or plan to sell to UW Hospital and Clinics, are required to register, pay the registration fee and wear a badge while at UW Hospital and Clinics facilities.
I work for a vendor but my role is exclusively research coordination (for example, I am a study monitor). Do I need to register, obtain a badge or pay the registration fee?
Personnel involved with research do need to register and obtain either a day pass or a badge. Your registration will be valid for the remainder of the calendar year after registering. For visits longer than one consecutive day, up to five consecutive weekdays, you can sign in once and be issued a day pass. If you need to be at UW Hospital and Clinics longer than five days, you will need to obtain a badge. Vendor representatives involved solely with research coordination do not need to pay the yearly registration fee.
I work with UW Hospital and Clinics faculty and staff in the direct care of patients (e.g., in surgical procedures). Is there anything special I need to do?
While our policy specifically prohibits representatives from interacting with our patients, there are a few exceptions to that rule (such as reps who have a legitimate role in servicing equipment or training faculty and staff). If you qualify as an exception to this rule, you will need to provide the VLO with documentation of a negative tuberculosis skin test, vaccination against or documented immunity from measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and Hepatitis B. You must also complete the annual UW Hospital and Clinics Safety and Infection Control competency assessment. The Vendor Liaison Office will coordinate the documentation of these requirements when you register.
I need to access scrub uniforms. Is there anything special I need to do?
When you register you will be issued a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will allow you to obtain a set of scrubs for a $5 fee. You cannot obtain a second pair of scrubs until the first set is turned in. All scrubs must be returned prior to ceasing business at UW Hospital and Clinics or a $25 invoice will be sent to your company. Again, the VLO will coordinate this process, including billing the companies for the use of UW Hospital and Clinics scrubs.
What does the registration fee pay for?
The registration fee pays for the VLO coordinator, representative badging, vendor Web site and database maintenance costs and other miscellaneous costs associated with managing vendor relations and policy compliance.
My company may be concerned about paying a registration fee. How will the VLO demonstrate that the fee is within a "safe harbor?"
There currently is a financial report for 2007 that documents exactly how the funds raised from registration fees will be spent. In the future, at the end of every calendar year, the VLO will provide a summary of the way in which we spent the funds we raised, thus documenting that the funds were spent in an appropriate manner. While the VLO will not earn a profit, it will also not be a financial burden to UW Hospital and Clinics.
I'm a new representative and I'm coming in mid-year. Will I need to pay the entire annual registration fee?
No. You will be charged a prorated fee based on the number of quarters remaining in the registration year. For example, if you will be registering any time between April 1st and June 30th, your registration fee will be $150. This applies for the first registration only for brand new representatives. Current UW Hospital and Clinics vendor representatives cannot delay registration until later in 2007 to pay the pro-rated fee. New representatives registering in 2007 must document that they have never worked at UW Hospital and Clinics before the discounted rate will be applied.
What if I leave mid-year? Will I get some of the registration fee back? What if my company is providing a replacement representative?
If you do not stay at UW Hospital and Clinics for the entire calendar year, you will not receive any money back. However, if you paid the annual fee, you can transfer that fee to another representative from your company for the remainder of the current registration period. You must surrender your badge before the new representative will be issued a badge.
What if I have lost my badge?
You must report to the VLO and pay a $25 badge replacement fee. Then you will be issued a new badge.
What will happen at the end of the year when my badge expires?
Starting in October of each calendar year the VLO will begin issuing badges for the upcoming year. You will be required to turn in your old badge to the VLO, pay the annual registration fee and verify your registration information, and then you will be issued a new badge. As noted above, you may also need to complete the annual UW Hospital and Clinics Safety and Infection Control training, and document updated tuberculosis test and vaccine status to obtain a new badge. The badges for the upcoming year will be valid for the remaining period of the current calendar year if you choose to register before January 1.
I am unclear about the policy and have other questions. Who can help?
If you have any further questions, please contact the VLO by e-mail at email@example.com.