Trends Shaping Healthcare Background Screening – Adaptation Amid Rising COVID Cases

August 17, 2021

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The traumatic experiences shared by healthcare organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the importance of thoroughly screening those who bear the burden of crisis situations along with patients and families. In today’s post, we look at how the pandemic is reshaping the industry, including the critical importance of background screening healthcare workers.

In a report by Deloitte, most care will be delivered at home or virtually by the year 2040. This is an exciting change that will challenge the current state of how healthcare is delivered. For healthcare providers, the switch is expected to shift toward sustaining wellness rather than responding to illness. For organizations though, it may entail unique supply chains and vendor relationships capable of delivering related services that promote safety in a cost-effective way. It may require new or reimagined partnerships with different types of contract employees and technology providers who can provide quality care while the organization continues to scale.

Accountability in Patient Protection

“First do no harm” is an underlying principle of modern medical ethics; provide care, but first, do no harm. Healthcare organizations care for the health and safety of its patients. In committing to this edict, healthcare organizations must take steps of ensuring their staff do not pose a foreseeable risk to patients. By taking preventative action, organizations can limit their accountability. Without accountability, healthcare employers can be held accountable when an employee’s actions breach company policy. Running background checks on new hires can help reduce exposing patients to those who may have a history of malpractice or other serious mistakes.

Workforce Screening

Numerous background screening solutions are available to address the need within healthcare settings. A handful of the most important background checks related to healthcare include:

  • Professional License Verification. A license verification check confirms that the candidate has the correct license, and that it’s current and in good standing.
  • Education Verification. Education verification helps ensure the candidate has the specific degree or training required.
  • Employment Verification. Employment verification ensures that potential healthcare workers have the experience you require
  • Criminal Records Checks. A criminal records search that provides reportable criminal history based on a customer’s criteria
  • Sex Offender, Abuse Registries.
  • Drug Screening and Random Screening.
  • Federal Exclusions Checks. This search identifies candidates who would prevent the healthcare organization from participating in important programs such as Medicare.

Healthcare regulation is complex and ever-changing, so why not partner with a company that has extensive experience in healthcare and can assist with your regulatory compliance? Using First Advantage’s consistent methodologies and adherence to industry-recognized standards, we can help deliver greater confidence about those you employ.

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Fostering Worker Morale

Many articles suggest building morale to help sustain an effective healthcare workforce. Some practical ways to foster such an environment involve removing barriers and fostering open and transparent communication. Especially in a time of crisis, workers may come to appreciate an employer who makes a concerted effort to hear and acknowledge a worker’s concerns or fears and helps guide them toward resolution and stands by their side.

But what about an employee’s mental health? The Joint Commission recommends, among other advice, “eliminating policies that reinforce fear of the professional consequences of seeking mental health treatment.” “Self-care” is another alternative. Encouraging or even facilitating on-site practices, such as quiet time, Qi Gong, or yoga is finding its place within a growing number of healthcare organizations.

For employers, there is a COVID-19 Recovery Preparation Assessment Checklist, published by The Joint Commission. According to the Commission, the time to begin COVID-19 recovery preparation in the environment of care is when your organization is still in the response phase.

The Future State of Healthcare

Whether the 2040 predictions come to fruition and the healthcare industry makes a full shift to delivering wellness versus responding to illness, one thing is true – the individuals providing that care are held to the highest standards when it comes to background screening. Whenever caring for patients at a healthcare facility, at patients’ homes, or virtually, healthcare companies must continue to screen their new hires and contract workers as an important step in protecting their patient populations.

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