Understanding Healthcare Background Check Requirements
April 28 2023
Before hiring any healthcare professional, it’s critical to have a strong healthcare background check policy. Policies for medical background checks include criminal records checks, drug screening, professional license verifications, and more. This ensures your healthcare organizations remain safe and compliant. But it also affects us on a personal level by providing us with health care workers we trust.
My mother had a successful open-heart surgery. As she rested in the ICU, I took a deep breath and waited. With each update from my sister, I grew more anxious. I realized strangers were charged with my mother’s life. Nameless doctors, therapists, nurses, and pharmacists would make choices that would determine her quality of life.
I traded medical research for an obsession with the qualifications of ICU caregivers. Nurses, for example, have to fill a lot of roles. They must be comforting while dispensing medicine. They have to make quick, life-or-death decisions and stay ahead of the technology curve. They have to know narcotics. And that’s just a few of their responsibilities.
I realized that I had to place my trust in the hospital. More precisely, I had to trust their HR department: their recruiters, trainers, and background screening company.
Why Are Healthcare Background Check Requirements Important?
Thorough healthcare background checks help you hire the best. If an applicant lied about their skills, they may be unable to deliver quality care. Poor past behavior may mean they pose a risk to patients and healthcare facilities. Criminal history reports and reference checks on healthcare workers are the answer. A professional background screening company is your first defense. They guard against dishonesty, poor performance, or risky behavior.
Reduce the risk of legal action by confirming that your potential healthcare employee doesn’t have a criminal history. Bonus? You will build trust with patients.
What’s Included in a Healthcare Background Check?
Whether you’re a doctor’s office, a hospital, a therapist… your employees care for vulnerable people. That’s why healthcare facilities’ background check policies are complex. They must be thorough because of licensing and compliance regulations. Basic healthcare background checks often include the following services.
Criminal Record Searches
- National Criminal History Search A national criminal history expands your search scope. Think of it as the foundation of your criminal background check. Healthcare HR professionals choose this search because it’s quick and affordable. But you usually won’t stop with a national search — you will also want statewide and/or county searches where your candidate has lived or worked. Choose a screening provider who verifies each criminal offense at the source. InfoMart does, and it makes it one of the most reliable national criminal records databases available.
- National Sex Offender Search This is a simple, vital search for all healthcare facilities. A national sex offender search checks 49 registries* to alert employers if their potential hire is a registered sex offender. If we find a potential hit on a registry, we do more research. We confirm the case matches the candidate and verify where the case took place and other essential details. Sex offender searches are crucial for practices that work with at-risk populations: children, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.
*Nevada does not allow sex offender registration to be used in employment decisions. InfoMart does not include this registry on consumer reports.
- Continuous Criminal Monitoring A background check shouldn’t stop at hire. Criminal monitoring provides immediate data about a current employee’s criminal activity. This goes beyond a standard criminal records check. This technology scans 24/7 for new arrest data across the country. If a match is found, we report the findings to you. Criminal monitoring is more proactive than annual rescreens because it’s immediate. This protects patients’ safety, and it protects your healthcare firm against costly legal issues. Check out this article to learn more about why you should continuously monitor healthcare workers.
Verification of Employment, Licenses, & More
- Employment History & Education Verification Verifications are an important part of healthcare background checks. They validate where and when candidates went to school or work. By confirming dates, degrees, terminations, and more, they validate experience claims made on resumes. The verification process ensures that you hire employees you trust to take care of patients.
- Professional Licenses This is another quick search that saves healthcare employers from future headaches. Your background check specialist goes to licensing boards for this service. It verifies that applicants have received the licenses they need to provide excellent patient care.
- Excluded Individuals/Entities The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) keeps a database of people in the healthcare field barred from 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 800+ sources across the United States. These sources list healthcare employees who have been disciplined by former employers. Disciplinary actions range from letters of reprimand to full exclusions. A FACIS® check should be part of your hospital’s background check policy; it prevents you from hiring employees that could endanger patients. This reduces the risk of malpractice lawsuits.
Occupational Health and Drug Screening Services
- Drug Screening Background check requirements for healthcare workers should include drug testing. A patient’s safety depends on their caregiver being clear-minded. Plus, most healthcare workers have access to the most potent drugs on the market. Adding pre-employment drug screening and post-hire screening into your healthcare background check strategy prevents potential drug diversion.
Can You Do Medical Background Checks Yourself?
Security experts recommend that healthcare facilities conduct background checks with trusted background screening vendors. Each state has different, ever-evolving legal requirements for employees in the healthcare industry. Additionally, you must check a candidate’s criminal records on a local, state, and federal level and contact licensing boards, schools, and previous employers, which takes a lot of time and care if you choose to do background checks yourself. A professional screening company with experience in medical background checks can handle all of these tasks and manage your adverse action. As a result, complying with current standards and getting the whole story on candidates during the hiring process often requires professional guidance.
Get the Whole Story
Leaders in the health care industry have high expectations for their employees. However, regulations change constantly. That makes it challenging to find the best employees for your organization. Get the Whole Story on candidates with a reputable background check company. At InfoMart, we understand that healthcare leaders have a lot on their plates. That’s why our team of FCRA-certified experts will provide the accurate and compliant background checks you need to make the best hiring decisions. To discover how we can tailor our screening services to your healthcare company’s needs, reach out to an InfoMart sales representative.
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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.
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.