Healthcare background checks are a regular part of many pre-employment screening processes. This type of background investigation ensures that healthcare workers have the credentials to do their jobs and prevents employers from accidentally hiring people who aren’t qualified to be on the job.
Medical background checks include education and employment verifications, professional license verifications, federal exclusion searches, and criminal record searches. These searches can help protect patients, uphold facility reputations, and avoid malpractice lawsuits.
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Employment and Education Verifications
Healthcare workers are entrusted with people’s lives and health, so hiring employees who are not a threat is vital. Medical background checks can help to prevent a potential healthcare worker from harming patients by running a national sex offender registry search, a criminal record check and checking education credentials as well as professional licenses.
Healthcare background checks are more thorough than many other kinds of background checks because they typically include searches on federal and state sanctions, exclusion lists, education verifications, professional licensing checks, and drug tests. These checks also examine a candidate’s past to weed out candidates with a history of malpractice lawsuits or facing disciplinary action from their regulatory body.
A recent case of a Colorado predator who impersonated a doctor to sexually assault Vietnamese immigrants highlights the medical industry’s need for an effective credentialing and background check process. Choosing a reputable provider to conduct the proper checks is the best way to protect your company and its vulnerable patients.
A national criminal record search will look at millions of records from thousands of jurisdictions to find out if a potential hire has a felony or misdemeanor on their record. This check is essential for ensuring that your medical employees can provide the high level of care your patients deserve.
Professional License Verifications
Professional license verifications can help you reduce negligent hiring claims by ensuring that candidates for positions with highly specialized responsibilities have valid credentials and professional certifications. The verification process checks whether a candidate’s license has any restrictions or suspensions that could limit their ability to perform the job. This is particularly important for specialized roles such as accountants, nurses and lawyers.
Healthcare background checks are more thorough than others, evaluating metrics specific to medical professions. They can prevent healthcare workers from accessing patients’ private and confidential information and identify whether they have been disciplined for incompetence or ethical misconduct. Healthcare background checks can also place any criminal records related to theft and fraud, impacting a company’s reputation.
The health and safety of your patients is the primary concern, but you can’t do that without a solid screening program that includes professional license verifications. People are getting craftier with fake diplomas and certificates. Still, a professional license search is one of the best ways to confirm that your potential employees have the credentials they claim to have.
Performing searches on national sex offender registries, state and federal sanctions and exclusion lists, education and employment verifications, and professional license verifications is critical to safeguarding your organization from unqualified, unsafe workers.
Federal Exclusion Searches
Whether in hospitals, clinics, or in-home care, healthcare workers face significant financial and reputational risks that could impact patients’ lives. To mitigate these risks, medical employers typically require a full array of background checks for new hires, including criminal history searches, verifications of education, employment, professional licensure and registries of sex offenses, abuse or neglect cases and drug use.
The healthcare industry demands an unusually high degree of skill, experience, judgment, discretion and ethical decision-making from its employees. It also requires access to incredibly sensitive, confidential information about the people entrusted in its care, including highly personal details about their health and wellness.
As a result, background checks for medical professionals often involve searches of state licensing boards and registries and federally mandated lists like the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE). Searching these federally-mandated exclusion databases is not only required by the OIG but can be legally mandated for healthcare providers participating in government-funded healthcare programs.
Due to the frequent reliance on prescription pharmaceuticals in medical workplaces, many medical background checks include drug screening as part of a comprehensive employee screening process. This helps ensure that healthcare employees do not use their positions as a cover for illegal drug use or steal drugs to fuel their addictions, potentially endangering the lives of patients and fellow employees.
Criminal Record Searches
Some employers may consider background checks unnecessary, but certain industries—such as healthcare—are crucial to hiring. In fact, without background checks, a medical facility could lose the trust of its clients and put patients in danger. A simple criminal record search can help a healthcare HR team ensure they’re hiring qualified, trustworthy employees.
A national criminal history search allows you to see a potential healthcare worker’s crimes. However, you’ll also want to run statewide and county searches in places where the person has lived and worked. When choosing a background screening provider, make sure they verify each criminal offense at the source to ensure the accuracy of the results. Another important part of a healthcare background check is drug testing.
A person addicted to drugs or alcohol risks their health, but they can also jeopardize patients by mishandling prescription drugs. A professional background screening service can perform drug screenings to help prevent these kinds of problems. Finally, a national sex offender registry search is an essential healthcare background check because of the power imbalance in many doctor-patient relationships. A sex offender search can help to reduce sexual abuse in the workplace and protect vulnerable patients from those who would harm them.