Background Screening in Healthcare

Background Screening in Healthcare

It is easy to understand why thorough background checks are an essential part of the hiring process for healthcare workers. These employees are entrusted with the care of many patients and may have access to drugs. The high employee turnover rate in the healthcare industry makes background checks even more crucial.

Background checks are not exclusive to healthcare. Many businesses routinely use this safeguard when hiring new employees. Social security numbers are routinely checked. Discrepancies related to name, age and other information trigger a red flag and warrant further investigation.

Employment applications frequently request information regarding past criminal convictions. Attempting to falsify the information is generally futile. The information is easily discovered by running a criminal history.

Past employment can reveal vital information. Long intervals between employment may warrant a closer look. References can be difficult to confirm as many employers are hesitant to discuss past employees. However, this step should not be ignored. In some cases, silence speaks volumes.

Education should always be confirmed. It is far too easy to obtain fraudulent degrees on the Internet. Required professional licenses and certifications should be valid and current.

Healthcare workers are required to be screened through the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities. The LEIE is maintained by the Office of Inspector General. The list provides information about individuals who have been sanctioned or excluded from the healthcare industry. Institutions who hire an individual on the LEIE may be fined monetary civil penalties.

Many employers, including the healthcare industry, are utilizing less traditional means when performing background checks. Social media, such as Facebook, is commonly investigated. This is not a crucial step in the investigative process. However, it may tip the favor towards a close contender for a position.

It is important for all employers to comply with State and Federal Regulations regarding background checks. This may include requesting an applicant’s written permission prior to performing a check. The Federal Trade Commission provides guidelines to ensure no individual rights are violated.