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Understanding Background Check Requirements for Healthcare Workers

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

December 10 2021

Before hiring any healthcare professional, it’s critical to understand background check requirements for healthcare workers. Anyone interacting with patients must be able to perform their duties at the highest level, and that’s where pre-employment

The healthcare industry is also often subject to federal or state regulation compliance changes. Because of the constantly changing requirement landscape, healthcare professionals must provide high-level patient care and be honest, responsible, law-abiding individuals.  Investigating the applicant’s background, qualifications, and work history is essential before any hospital, doctor’s office, home health care provider, or other healthcare facility hires a job seeker. A thorough background check can determine whether you invest in a quality employee or set yourself up for a future malpractice suit.

 

Why Are Background Check Requirements for Healthcare Workers Important?

A comprehensive background check ensures you hire the best candidate for your open position and helps predict their future work performance. Thoroughly investigating a new hire also protects your company or organization.

You want employees who are qualified and dedicated. An irresponsible employee or one who has lied about their experience or training may pose a risk to your patients and healthcare facility. A criminal history and reference check could reveal dishonesty, poor previous performance, or inappropriate behavior.

Healthcare employees on every level are expected to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. By verifying that your potential employee has a record devoid of infractions, you will find the best employees and help reduce the risk of future compliance difficulties.

 

What’s Included in a Healthcare Background Check?

Background check requirements for healthcare workers are more complex than in other industries due to licensing and compliance requirements.  A healthcare-specific background check must also be more thorough than employee checks in different industries. These checks frequently include the following:

  • National Criminal SearchThis taps into a comprehensive, private criminal history database that provides quick results at an affordable price. InfoMart’s National Criminal Search verifies each criminal incidence directly at its source, making it one of the most reliable national criminal databases available. It can and should be paired with a statewide or county criminal search for additional information in most cases.
  • Continuous Criminal Monitoring. This service provides immediate data about a current employee’s criminal activity. It scans for new arrest data continuously across the country and reports findings back to you. It is much more proactive than annual rescreens. This is important for the safety of patients and the facility’s liability.
  • National Sex Offender SearchThis is a simple yet vitally important search that all healthcare facilities should conduct on their employees. The examination ensures that applicants haven’t been required to register as a sex offender. A sex offender search is especially crucial for practices that work with at-risk populations such as children and elderly or disabled persons.
  • Employment History & Education VerificationThese are both crucial steps in any healthcare background check. Analysts use the information provided by the applicant to confirm that they have the credentials and experience they claim to have. This verification process ensures that you hire only qualified employees to work with patients.
  • Professional Licenses. Another quick search that can save healthcare employers future headaches is a professional license search. Searchers go directly to the licensing boards to verify that applicants have received all the necessary licenses and accreditations.
  • Excluded Individuals/EntitiesThe Office of the Inspector General (OIG) maintains an up-to-date database of individuals and entities in the healthcare field barred from participating in any federally funded healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The reasons for barring people can vary, but persons on this list are often considered risky hires.
  • Fraud and Abuse Control Information System (FACIS®)A FACIS® search checks over 800 sources across the United States to provide data on healthcare employees who have been disciplined in the past by other healthcare organizations. Disciplinary actions can range from simple letters of reprimand from superiors to full exclusions. Running a FACIS® check on all healthcare applicants can prevent you from hiring employees that could endanger patients and cause future malpractice or compliance problems.
  • Drug TestingIn addition to these services, background check requirements for healthcare workers often include drug testing. Healthcare workers often have access to some of the most potent drugs on the market. Pre-employment drug testing and random post-hire screenings ensure your patients’ safety and prevent potential drug diversion.

 

Can You Do Background Checks Yourself?

Security experts don’t recommend healthcare facilities conduct their own background checks on candidates. Each state has its own requirements for employees in the healthcare industry, and they’re always changing.  As a result, ensuring that new hires comply with all current standards can be a difficult process. To run a healthcare background check, you need to check with licensing boards, schools, and previous employers and access an applicant’s entire criminal record. While criminal records are public documents you can get directly from law enforcement offices, you need to visit multiple county, state, and federal offices to get an applicant’s whole story. Background check requirements for healthcare workers can be costly, time-consuming, and confusing.

 

Get the Whole Story

The healthcare industry has high expectations for its workers, and regulations change constantly. Finding the very best employees for your organization can be difficult. Get the Whole Story by retaining the services of a reputable background check company. It is an easy way to ensure accuracy, coverage, and compliance. Background check vendors such as InfoMart employ trained analysts, searchers, and other experts to provide an accurate and complete background check quickly. To maintain security for your healthcare organization, contact InfoMart.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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