Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by Flavia Calina
Whether you run a medical practice, hospital, or urgent care clinic, your patients depend on you for their health and well-being. Therefore, you must take all necessary steps to ensure your employees have the skills and qualifications they need to deliver top-notch service.
One way to do that is with a comprehensive background check. It helps you avoid hiring risky employees and can help keep your facility out of federal fines and lawsuits.
There is a reason why healthcare professionals need to be thoroughly vetted before they can begin working at a medical facility. Patients and the healthcare team need to trust the people they’re entrusting with their lives.
Hiring someone with a criminal history can make your team unsafe and put you at risk for malpractice lawsuits or other legal problems. Professional background screening companies will verify candidates’ credentials and conduct criminal history reports and reference checks to uncover dishonesty, poor performance, and other red flags.
A background check for healthcare also ensures the hiring candidates are licensed as doctors or nurses. This includes verifying their licensure with the licensing board in their state.
Background checks are essential for fraud prevention because they can flag untrustworthy individuals before they can commit crimes. They may also help companies avoid embezzlement, data leaks, and money laundering.
Healthcare background checks can check federal and state databases for criminal records, educational credentials, credit history, and work experience. They can also check for disciplinary actions against a candidate or their company.
These checks can also screen applicants for medical positions that handle sensitive patient information or involve motor vehicle records. They can also be used to verify the credentials of candidates for accounting positions or those who handle significant amounts of money.
Healthcare organizations and healthcare professionals must comply with an avalanche of federal and state laws, regulations, and standards. Those laws are designed to protect patients, safeguard sensitive information and mitigate and prevent fraud, abuse, and waste in the healthcare industry.
A thorough background check can help a healthcare organization meet its compliance requirements and avoid legal action. A good background check will verify a candidate’s credentials, including education, work history, and criminal records.
These screenings can also identify candidates excluded from participating in federally funded healthcare programs. They can also find out if a potential hire has been convicted of a sexual offense or has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Besides these types of searches, healthcare employers can also use civil history checks and professional/license verification checks to determine if potential employees are licensed and certified. These searches can help a healthcare organization reduce the risk of employee theft and malpractice.
Reduced Risk of Medical Malpractice
Healthcare professionals are a key part of healthcare facilities and organizations. As a result, they are required to comply with a variety of regulations and best practices.
Among these requirements, it is crucial for healthcare organizations to verify the credentials of any applicant and employee. This ensures that only qualified employees are hired and helps to avoid negligent hiring.
Another benefit of background checks for healthcare professionals is that they can reduce the risk of medical malpractice lawsuits. These claims are common in the healthcare sphere, but if your organization needs proper screening protocols to avoid these allegations, it could cost your business a lot of money.
Various factors, known as system or personal risk factors, can contribute to the risk of a malpractice claim. The most common are country of initial training, clinical workload, and practice setting or sector (e.g., solo vs. group practice, private vs. public health).
Increased Employee Satisfaction
Healthcare professionals, like physicians and nurses, often have access to patient’s private information. Therefore, conducting a thorough background check on every potential hire is important to ensure that patients and their information remain safe with the person you choose to work for your organization.
A background check can identify criminal convictions, disciplinary actions, or license issues that may disqualify an applicant from working in the healthcare industry. It also identifies whether the candidate has been sued for malpractice, misconduct, or professional negligence.
Healthcare organizations should verify education information to ensure applicants have the credentials necessary for the job. This includes degrees, diplomas, or certificates that are required for a position.
Hiring managers and recruiters can often detect false educational information, such as a degree or certificate from a diploma mill. These companies provide degrees and diplomas for a fee without requiring a student to complete any coursework or education.
Healthcare organizations should verify the education of their candidates at least once per year to ensure they have current licenses and credentials. This is especially important for professionals in healthcare, as many regulatory bodies require verification at every hire and renewal.
Verify Employment History
The healthcare industry is highly regulated, so hiring professionals with flawless backgrounds is critical. Hiring someone with a criminal history, for example, can jeopardize patients’ health or put your practice at risk for regulatory issues.
For many positions, a background check includes employment verification. This involves contacting an applicant’s past employers to confirm their job titles, start and end dates, and, in some cases, salary histories.
Depending on the position in the healthcare industry, employment verification can range from three years for an entry-level job to five or more years for a senior management role. It’s important to verify each candidate’s employment history as part of the background check process, so you can make an informed hiring decision that reflects your organization’s values and culture.