With a new surge of COVID-19 cases sweeping the United States and pushing healthcare systems to capacity, hospitals across the nation are looking for reinforcements to meet the demands of the public health crisis. As clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare providers recruit in every position, from volunteer COVID test-takers to doctors and nurses, administrators must continue to perform their due diligence with every hire.
Here are three things that providers should remember when running healthcare background checks on new workers.
Background checks are essential for everyone
The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for healthcare organizations in many ways, including in hiring and background screening. Hospitals are contending with crowded ICUs, ailing frontline healthcare workers, and rapidly-changing landscapes. In this context, it makes sense that health providers are looking to expand their teams rapidly—not only through full-time and part-time hires but also in temporary positions, volunteer roles, students, and promoted trainees.
Employers may be less adamant about demanding comprehensive background checks for these hires. They may also consider skipping the background check to enable a faster hire.
Healthcare providers need to remember that they are hiring individuals who may be a part of a life-or-death situation for the patients they serve. Running background checks is a vital step to ensure that every hire is qualified, safe, and trustworthy to work in a healthcare capacity. At backgroundchecks.com, we regularly work with organizations to design not just effective background check strategies for full-time or part-time roles but also engage volunteer background checks, contractor background checks, and more.
It is crucial to verify qualifications and experience
Often, when people think of employee background checks, their minds jump to criminal background checks. While criminal history searches are a vital component of any healthcare background check, they are merely one piece of the puzzle. Checking qualifications and experience is equally critical, including verifying resume information (work history, education, and professional licensing) and checking references to find out what a prospective hire’s former managers, colleagues, and connections have to say about them. At backgroundchecks.com, we offer all these checks and others.
You should always delve below the surface
Most background checks start with two ingredients: a person’s name and their location. Most criminal records are filed based on name in county courthouses, which means that exploring name-based checks at the county level is where a background check should typically begin.
The mistake that some employers make—not just in healthcare, but across all industries—is not going beyond these first-step checks. With such a narrow approach, they risk overlooking essential information, such as a relevant conviction from another county or state or a history of criminal activity, sexual offenses, or other red flags that a person received under a different name.
At backgroundchecks.com, we always ask employers to provide not just a candidate’s name and birthdate but also their Social Security Number. This information allows us to verify their identity, detect any aliases or former names (including maiden names), and track their address history. Our clients will often use this extra information to flesh out their background checks, whether with searches under alternate names or background checks in other locations.
Healthcare organizations are in the spotlight right now for their staff’s capacity to engage in heroic work to save lives and fight a pandemic. While healthcare background checks may not be the first thing on the minds of hospital administrators and other healthcare providers, they are a vital step to ensuring that patients are receiving the high-quality and compassionate care they deserve in this difficult time.
If your organization needs help designing an effective healthcare background check strategy, contact backgroundchecks.com today.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments