The Importance of Conducting Regular Medical Background Checks in HealthCare
As a healthcare organization, you want to hire workers to provide excellent patient care. However, this can only be easy if you have a thorough background screening process.
These checks can help you avoid hiring candidates who will cause harm to your business or brand. For example, they can protect you from employees convicted of identity theft or credit card fraud.
Your patients trust you to provide the best possible care and want to feel safe in your hands. That’s why running background checks on new hires working with your patients, including your employees and contractors, is essential.
A medical background checks will verify your candidate’s credentials and licenses. These include their education and work experience. You’ll also look for criminal convictions and disciplinary actions that disqualify them from working in your practice.
Another essential component of a healthcare background check is a national criminal search that taps comprehensive databases to find any potential criminal records on a federal level. These searches pull information from offender registries across all 50 states.
Using the results of these checks, you’ll see whether your candidate has ever been convicted of a crime or committed any other misdemeanors that could affect patient safety and healthcare compliance. It is a valuable tool that can help you avoid lawsuits or violations from hiring someone with a criminal record.
The process of conducting a healthcare background check is a comprehensive one that can be time-consuming and difficult to perform on your own. It is why it’s essential to use a trusted third-party screening company to do the job for you.
This background screening helps you avoid federal fines, keep your practice from being audited and protect your reputation. It can also help you evade false credentialing and negligent hiring that can lead to malpractice lawsuits. Finally, it can help you protect your most vulnerable patients and prevent future abuse by ensuring that everyone in your organization has clean records and is free of sexual assault or abuse allegations.
Healthcare facilities must conduct regular license checks to ensure their practitioners are licensed and in good standing. Failure to do so could lead to steep fines, litigation, denied claims, and patient harm.
Credential verifications include verifying a physician’s graduate and undergraduate degrees, specialty certifications, and licensing information. These credentials can be verified using online search engines, state licensing boards, and organizations that provide credential verification services to medical facilities.
A physician’s educational and professional requirements differ from one job type to the next, so a healthcare facility must know what is required for each practitioner’s role. It involves understanding the specific qualifications of each position, contacting all appropriate primary sources and databases for verification, and proactively monitoring for invalid/expired or revoked credentials, exclusions, sex offender status, patient abuse, and other adverse actions.
Performing license checks at the time of hire is necessary. Still, monitoring practitioners’ license information and exclusion status is just as vital for maintaining confidence in your physicians and staff year-round.
Using trusted, third-party background screening vendors to conduct background checks for your healthcare workers is the best way to stay with current laws and avoid legal issues. By leveraging their expertise, your organization can quickly determine who should and should not be on your team and make hiring decisions that protect you from liability.
In the healthcare industry, where vulnerable patients trust their healthcare providers with lifesaving and healing procedures, conducting regular medical background checks is crucial to building a safe and productive workplace. It is especially true in light of new state and federal drug testing laws affecting healthcare.
Employers have several options for drug screening: Periodic, return-to-duty, and reasonable suspicion testing are some of the most common. These tests can be performed routinely, at specific times of the year, or as part of a pre-employment medical exam.
Reasonable Suspicion: This type of test is conducted after observing physical, behavioral, or psychological signs that suggest a substance use problem. It includes slurred speech, an inability to perform routine tasks, and erratic or abnormal behavior.
It can also include an employee who appears to be using illicit drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine. It is a more particular type of drug test than periodic testing and can identify substances not found in other urine tests.
The findings of this test can be used to identify those who might be a safety risk to your patients and staff, as well as to help prevent possible drug abuse. This screening is designed to detect known and unknown illegal drugs and prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
A sanction check program can protect your healthcare facility from monetary fines and lawsuits by identifying individuals with histories of drug abuse that may threaten patient safety. Performing these checks on a quarterly or monthly basis keeps you in compliance with federal and state regulations and helps to maintain trust between your employees and patients alike.
Sex Offender Checks
Every healthcare practice needs to screen its staff care for the safety of patients and others. It is especially true for any business with children or vulnerable adults. Performing a national sex offender search on prospective employees is an essential part of the screening process that should be run on all applicants for your job openings.
Each state creates sex offender registries to notify the public of people who have committed sexually related crimes against an adult or a child. In some states, this includes rape and sexual battery, while other jurisdictions have stricter requirements for placement on the registry.
In addition to being a criminal offense, registered sex offenders can also be subject to revocation of parole or probation. As such, any healthcare provider must know whether an applicant is a convicted sex offender.
A comprehensive sex offender search from a third-party provider like prospect check can help you determine if your applicant has any prior convictions for sexually related offenses or pleas of guilty. It will also show you where they’ve been arrested and if they’ve been accused of other sex crimes that you should be aware of.
The fact that an applicant has a sex offender status is considered PHI under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Still, it would be best to use it in your hiring decision. It’s worth discussing the law in your state with a qualified attorney to see if you need to use this information for your background checks.
Criminal History Checks
Whether you’re hiring doctors, nurses, home health aides, or any other healthcare workers, a background check is essential. Not only can it help you weed out candidates who pose a threat to your patients, but it can also protect your business.
A criminal history search is one of the essential parts of a background check, and it should be part of every screening process. This type of screening can help weed out candidates who are convicted of violent crimes, as well as sex offenses. It can also reveal if an applicant has been excluded from federally funded programs, which could disqualify them from working in a medical facility or practice.
This type of search taps comprehensive databases to locate criminal records on a national level. It pulls descriptions from thousands of jurisdictions and thousands of offender registries. It’s a great way to uncover potential problems with your healthcare employees but it can also expose you to severe risks.
For example, if your candidate has a criminal record for theft or fraud, they may be banned from performing their duties in a hospital or other healthcare setting. It could have a significant impact on your operation and the safety of your patients.
Another factor to consider is whether or not a criminal record will appear on a vulnerable sector check. The screening is typically conducted when a healthcare worker works with vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes or hospital patients. If an individual has a conviction, this will be listed on their report.
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