Healthcare is an ever-changing industry, constantly expanding and is often subject to federal or state-mandated changes and updates. Because of this fluidity, it is key for those in the healthcare field to not only be well-trained to provide a high level of care for their patients, but also to be responsible and trustworthy employees that obey and respect the law as well.
These high standards have led to a need for a healthcare background check to be implemented before hiring any job seeker into a healthcare-oriented business, be it a hospital, doctor’s office, home health care facility or other practice. These reports on an applicant’s background and history can help determine whether you are investing in a quality employee or setting yourself up for a future malpractice suit.
Why Is a Background Check Needed for Healthcare Workers?
A background check might seem as though it is overkill, but it can not only help ensure that you are hiring the best candidate for the position, but also give you some indication of future poor performance.
An inattentive employee may pose a risk to your health care facility, so criminal history check can indicate an inclination towards poor previous performance or unearth past disregard for a patient or inappropriate behavior.
Healthcare employees on every level are also expected to maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations and by verifying that your potential employee has a clean record, you will help reduce the risk of a negligent hire.
What’s Included in a Healthcare Background Check?
A healthcare specific background check differs from a standard investigation in several ways. Though it includes some of the traditional history checks, such as a criminal background check that verifies history across multiple states and on the federal level, it also should be a sex offender search. This is particularly crucial for practices that work with children.
Also, you should ensure that previous employment and education are verified along with any professional licenses to guarantee the safety of your patients. A drug test should also be performed.
There are databases that should be checked that are specific to the healthcare field. For example, the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) List of Excluded Individuals/Entities is the database of those persons or companies barred from participating in any federally-funded healthcare programs. Reasons for exclusion can vary, but persons on this list are not considered a safe hire for a company.
Also, the the Fraud and Abuse Control Information System (FACIS®) checks over 800 sources over the entire United States to provide discipline data on healthcare employees. The results can range from letters of reprimand to full exclusions and help ensure compliance with federal HIPAA guidelines.
How is a Healthcare Background Check Run?
Each state has clear-cut requirements for employees in the healthcare industry. For example, employees that work in home health agencies have had new federal mandates implemented as recently as May of 2014, and include state-specific guidelines within the document. This is only one of many illustrations of high standards in the field, which means that ensuring your new hires comply with all current standards can be a difficult process.
You can gain access to criminal records, as these are public documents, by contacting law enforcement offices. However, to ensure a full scope, you would need to visit a county-level office, a state office and contact a federal database, which can time-consuming and confusing.
There are high expectations placed upon any person who works in the healthcare industry, which can make hiring a new employee a difficult procedure. Retaining the services of a reputable background check company can ensure that your new hires not only meet the expectations of the field, but also are the best fit for your specific practice and will contribute to a positive environment for your current employees as well as your patients.