Recognizing the Need for Healthcare Background Checks

Recognizing the Need for Healthcare Background Checks

Healthcare employees are often trusted with patients’ lives. Because of this, some state laws require healthcare businesses to conduct background checks on all employees and job applicants. This check verifies educational credentials, employment history, professional licensing, and more. It also includes running national sex offender searches and identity verification.

1. National Sex Offender Search

A national sex offender search is a database of information compiled from state-level sex offender registry searches and local county criminal records. A complete sex offender search is often necessary when hiring for positions requiring direct contact with patients, children, or public-facing roles. 

This search can help identify sex offenders who have moved from one state to another, hiding their real records. It can be a problem for healthcare employers because these offenders are more likely to pose a risk to patients and other members of the community. It’s also important to understand that a criminal record does not necessarily mean that an offender will commit a crime in the future. 

2. Drug Screening

Healthcare is a highly regulated industry with complicated rules and requirements for background checks. Having a background screening partner that stays up-to-date on legislation changes and has expertise in healthcare-related verifications is crucial to maintaining compliance for your organization. 

Whether in the doctor’s office, hospital, or therapy setting, healthcare workers care for vulnerable patients. Including drug screening as part of your medical background check is important to ensure that employees are not using drugs on the job, which could jeopardize patient safety or cause them to perform poorly.

A drug use screening test is a questionnaire that asks questions about how often an individual uses prescription and illegal drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. Using these substances more frequently than recommended may indicate that the person has a drug abuse problem.

In addition to drug screening, a national sex offender search and identity verification are common components of healthcare background checks. Since healthcare professionals often work with children and elderly adults, it’s important to know if an applicant is registered as a sex offender. Including an identity verification can help verify that an applicant is using their legal name and not an alias.

3. Employment Verification

Healthcare workers deal with vulnerable patients. As such, background checks must be more thorough than those performed in other industries. Choosing a reputable provider with expertise in this industry helps ensure you’re performing the right checks and are compliant with local, state, and federal laws. Employment and education verifications validate experience claims on resumes, verify dates of employment, and help employers find out if applicants were terminated for cause or quit their job. 

Other healthcare-specific background check services include civil history searches (for example, lawsuits and liens), drug screenings, professional/license certification checks, and sanctions information. 

Sanctions are especially important to healthcare organizations because they provide insight into if an applicant has been disciplined by their licensing board for malpractice or misconduct, which could put patients at risk. Moreover, continuous criminal monitoring scans the background of current employees for new arrest records to identify potential issues before they affect patient care.

4. Identity Verification

Healthcare background checks must be thorough and accurate. It includes verifying an applicant’s education, employment history and professional licenses. It helps to ensure that the person being hired is the person who submitted their application. 

It is especially important in the case of healthcare workers. It’s not uncommon for people to lie about their identities or even invent entire career histories. Hiring a pharmacy worker with a DUI or a bookkeeper with a history of theft can devastate your organization. 

The healthcare industry also requires that employers conduct drug screenings on all new employees. Since many healthcare workers will have direct contact with patients, they must be clear-minded and free of substance abuse issues. 

It’s necessary to have a drug screening provider that regularly updates its database. You should also check your state’s laws regarding when it is permissible to ask about prior convictions and provide notice when a candidate has been denied employment based on drug screen results.

5. Education Verification

Healthcare facilities need reliable, trustworthy employees to care for vulnerable patients. Thorough background checks ensure that new hires fit the role. They protect medical facilities from negligent-hire lawsuits. They keep healthcare employers compliant with local, state, and federal laws governing background check use and disclosure. Many applicants lie on their resumes about past work or education. 

An education verification search verifies schools attended, dates of attendance, and degrees awarded. It also validates experience claims on applications and resumes. It’s an excellent way to identify red flags, such as gaps in employment or discrepancies in time spent at previous jobs.

The healthcare industry requires thorough and individualized background checks that verify identity, professional licensure, education, drug screening, and national sex offender searches. 

Final Words

It involves contacting multiple government agencies, schools, and former employers and 

Can take weeks if done manually. A professional screener can conduct these searches quickly and ensure that all information is collected legally and by regulations. Using a professional screener also reduces the risk of error.

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