Whether they work at a small medical practice or a major hospital, healthcare professionals must maintain impeccable credentials. They also need to be able to build trust with patients and clients. A strong background check policy is essential for the healthcare industry. If your process is fully compliant, your organization could be safe.
Failing to Perform an Education/Employment Verification
Many healthcare employers use background checks to help verify that an applicant has the qualifications needed for the job. These duties, especially for nurse’s aides, phlebotomists or pharmacists, require specific capabilities and training. A background check can identify false claims about applicants’ education credentials. It can also reveal omissions on an application or resume. A company representative can typically request employment verification by calling the student clearinghouse or the university’s registrar. There is a fee for these requests, however. An HR team member can also conduct an education background check by requesting official transcripts from the applicant’s school.
Healthcare background checks are more detailed and thorough than other background checks. It is because it is tailored to the healthcare industry and evaluates metrics explicitly designed for this type of job. Having an accurate and effective healthcare background check process can prevent hiring mistakes like putting someone with a history of theft in a position where they have access to patient records or even allowing an individual who is a convicted felon to work in a doctor’s office or another medical facility.
Failing to Perform a Drug Screening
Pre-employment drug screening is a key component of many healthcare hiring processes. Employers may also conduct random or periodic drug testing to deter current employees from using illegal drugs. Both tests should be performed with specific legal requirements to prevent discrimination or other legal issues. When conducting pre-employment drug screening, employers must provide applicants and employees with written notice that a drug test is required. Applicants must also have an authorization form to sign to participate in the trial.
A written procedure for ongoing drug testing programs must detail how employees are selected and what steps are taken after an employee tests positive. State laws also vary, with some states requiring an employer to follow different steps after an employee fails a test. If your company doesn’t comply with these laws, it could open your organization to fines or even the loss of Medicare and Medicaid payments. The right background check company can help you ensure your healthcare hiring process is compliant.
Failing to Perform a Federal Exclusion Search
A federal exclusion search is required for healthcare providers participating in government-funded healthcare programs. Failure to perform this search can result in civil monetary penalties for every excluded person your company hires. The OIG maintains an online database that you can use to check individuals against their list of exclusions. However, there are many other State-specific exclusion lists that you also need to be aware of.
Incomplete or Outdated Authorization Forms
For healthcare organizations, thorough and timely background checks are essential to patient safety and compliance. However, several factors can significantly impact or extend the turnaround time of a background check order. One of the most common causes of delays is incomplete or outdated authorization forms. Background screening companies are obliged by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to certify that all applicants have received and signed all necessary disclosures and authorizations before revealing any record information. When authorization forms aren’t complete, CRAs must work with the candidate to correct and resubmit them before releasing any results. It is time-consuming and can dramatically delay the completion of background checks.
Another common cause of delayed results is incomplete or inaccurate employment and education verifications. Healthcare employers must verify that candidates have the experience and qualifications they claim on their resumes. It can reduce the number of fraudulent and negligent hires and improve overall patient safety. It is recommended that employers partner with a professional screening firm.
Failing to Perform a Social Media Check
A social media check may seem overkill for a healthcare position, but ensuring that your employees respect patient privacy and other regulations can be vital. Professional social media checks use smart-search technologies and behavior analysis tools designed to remain compliant with legislation and HR guidelines while ensuring the search is as thorough as possible. The healthcare industry is inherently risky, and a malpractice lawsuit can be extremely costly for your company. You can find candidates with a history that can endanger your patients and your reputation by doing a background check on them. For example, a receptionist on the national sex offender registry can put your hospital at risk for a breach of patient confidentiality. This information can be uncovered through criminal history searches, drug screenings and verification checks. In addition, a civil background check can help you discover any past disciplinary actions or malpractice suits that could have been filed against your employee. It is a key component of many positions’ medical background check process.