How to Create a Vendor Risk Management Strategy

Posted by Taylor Kennedy in Public relations |


Crises can happen at any moment–take Chipotle for example. According to an analysis by a risk management company, if the restaurant chain had had a vendor risk management solution, the food may have never been contaminated.

It’s also important for hospitals and clinics to have a vendor risk management strategy in place. If a vendor were to make a mistake, it’s your hospital that unfortunately takes much of the blame and your patients who suffer the consequences. Here are tips on how to create such a strategy.


When putting together the vendor risk management plan, make sure prospective vendors share the same values (e.g. customer-first mentality, trust, giving back, etc.) as your hospital. If they don’t and you hired them anyway, the public backlash could be fierce if an incident occurs.

It’s similar to hiring. When you interview job candidates, you want to make sure their values align with yours. Your CMO or CCO, whose job it is to build and protect your brand, should have input on the vendor risk management plan for this reason.


Create guidelines for your vendors to ensure a mutually successful business relationship and mitigate your risks. Areas of focus can include safety procedures, certifications, conflicts of interest and patient privacy. Also, in case of a crisis, make sure to have the contact information for the vendor’s representative, someone with high enough rank to be able to make decisions on a moment’s notice.


As stated above, make sure that your vendors share your same values. These values must be conveyed in the procurement process, including your vendor information page on your website, tradeshow displays and your RFPs. (Your communications team also should be demonstrating your values through marketing and PR efforts.) This makes it easier for your hospital to attract the right vendors in the first place.

Create an internal FAQ document on the vendor relationship policy and publish it on your hospital’s intranet site. This makes sure everyone on staff has access to it.


Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers healthcare providers services related to media relations, crisis communications, internal communications, media buying, content marketing and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] or 608-622-7767.



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