Hospital Officials Call for Better Background Checks and National Registry

By Michael Klazema on 8/17/2012

Updates in processes for background checks, in addition to a national registry are some of the changes being called for following a hepatitis C outbreak allegedly caused by a former employee at New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital. David Kwiatkowski stands accused of infecting at least 30 patients after injecting himself with anesthetic drugs meant for surgery, after which the refilled contaminated syringes were used on unsuspecting patients. Kwiatkowski was previously fired from two other hospitals in Pennsylvania and Arizona. In Arizona he allegedly tested positive for marijuana and cocaine after being found unresponsive in the hospital’s locker room with syringes in 2010.

Although Kwiatkowski was fired from his job in Arizona and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists received notice of the incident, police charges were never filed. The state of Arizona dropped its investigation after Kwiatkowski moved out of state, so a criminal background check would not reveal the incident. According to Stephanie Drake, executive director of the American Hospital Association’s Human Resources Administration group, her agency guides hospitals in their hiring processes. She said it is recommended for hospitals to perform drug screenings and third-party background checks, among other common screening practices such as reference checks. However, Drake said these are only recommended procedures, and “there’s not any federal legislation that requires organizations to follow all these recommendations.”

Drake notes that there is no perfect system, since policies are sometimes not followed and infractions without criminal charges can be missed by some background checks. However, she recommends also using reference checks done by a third-party in a confidential manner. This is when the names of the references are not attached to what they said, which may lead to more honest answers without worrying about liability. State Representative Lee Quandt is in the midst of organizing legislation efforts in order to address the infection outbreak. One proposal is to require hospitals across the state to drug test all employees. Another possibility at the federal level is a national registry requiring hospitals to report instances of medical technician professional misconduct, similar to existing registries for physicians and nurses.

Do you know the truth about who is working for you? If your business is not using background checks, you could be placing your customers and your business into the wrong hands. By using a reputable company like, you can be assured you are getting the best and most thorough background check screening techniques available.With access to countless criminal databases nationwide they have many options available, several with instant results. Their US OneSEARCH gives you instant information from more than 430 million criminal records from counties, Department of Corrections (DOC), Administration of Courts (AOC) and State Sex Offender Registries covering 49 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. Also included are national and international terrorism sources, more than 11 million photos, and their proprietary database of previously completed reports. Or try their Ongoing Criminal Monitoring tool, which allows you to automatically run a continuous background check against a name and date of birth. You will be notified via email of any new information that may appear on their record. They will run the name for one year and remind you when it is time to renew the monitoring, plus you can remove the name from being monitored at any time.

About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and coounder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit



Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.