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Background Checks for New Medical Staff

Background Checks

Why do healthcare practices run background checks?

When a member of your medical team leaves, you must find a replacement quickly to maintain a high quality of care. While yes, hiring a high-quality candidate should be a high priority, you should never rush the process. People can lie on resumes to secure positions they’re neither suited nor qualified for.

Unfortunately, there is no federal baseline requirement for medical worker background checks. This means that healthcare organizations are bound by varying state-by-state laws. If you live in a state with little or no requirements, it is still worth investigating a potential hire.

Healthcare has the second-highest rate of employee turnover behind the hospitality industry. Employers can expect to spend at least 25% of an employee’s salary each time they need to fill a position. With the medical worker shortage driving up average salaries, turnover is even more expensive than before the pandemic. 

It is also worth noting that many HIPAA violations are considered on a case-by-case basis with negligence playing a major factor in determining the severity of financial and criminal penalties. The flexibility of HIPAA allows healthcare facilities to determine appropriate measures based on their size, resources, and risk assessment profile. 

HIPAA does not mention requirements for background checks, but healthcare facilities could be impacted by HIPAA violations for letting the wrong person handle protected health information. By tailoring sets of background checks for various positions within your medical organization, you can save money and better ensure you’re hiring the right individual for the job.

What types of background checks are there?

There are many options to consider when developing your organization’s background check plan. To save time and money when hiring, choose the required checks based on the position you’re filling. Let’s go over some of the common types of background checks healthcare administrators should use.

Identity verification should come first because it informs all future background checks. If somebody is applying under a false name, this check will save you from any further investment. 

Education, license, and employment history verification are key for every position in a medical organization unless that position is entry-level with no requirements. Even in this case, verifying employment records may help you avoid hiring somebody who is underqualified or likely to quit.

A National Criminal Search will let you know about any potentially relevant convictions in an applicant’s past that could disqualify them for a position. 

Drug screening can help reduce the chances of medical and administrative errors. It’s also an essential step for anybody with access to prescription-grade drugs to check for a preexisting disposition toward them. 

A National Sex Offender Search protects vulnerable patients and children from anybody with despicable intentions and relevant convictions. Incredibly important, especially for anybody who will be alone with patients.

The list of excluded individuals/entities will inform you if an individual is excluded from federally funded healthcare programs. This includes reimbursement for services submitted to Medicare and Medicaid and may come with additional Civil Monetary Penalties.

How can technology help you?

Developers create software to solve all sorts of problems in the healthcare industry, improve efficiency, and reduce administrative costs. To help you weigh your options, TechRadar listed some of the top background check services.

You will generally need to reach out to the top companies to get a quote. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a few organizations in this stage to compare your options. The right software company will listen to your unique challenges and help build the perfect workflow to fit your needs. 

As regulations in healthcare are constantly evolving to be more secure, it helps to have the guidance of experts who specialize in legally-compliant services to keep you up to date. Before discussing quotes with trusted companies, you should prepare a list of the following details:

  • The type(s) of positions you will be running background checks for
  • How many employees you have
  • The number of positions you are trying to fill
  • Any budgetary restrictions

Once you’ve selected the best option, you’ll be able to easily submit background check requests with short turnaround times. Then you can rest assured knowing that you can make informed staffing decisions. 

Once you have hired medical workers for your organization, the next step is motivating them to stay long-term. Because burnout is a leading cause for employee turnaround, you should try to reduce day-to-day stress to ensure your healthcare staff is happy and healthy.

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