You are hiring a new employee. What if your future employee misuses patient data or their personal information? What if they have a past record? What if they were involved in a scam? If you are not vigilant enough; then your entire practice, your hard-earned reputation can be swept away with one wrong step. Hiring an employee with a dubious background could turn into the worst nightmare for your medical practice. In such situation, even most efficient EHR suffers. Not only should you evaluate the applicant’s knowledge and skills, but conduct a thorough background screening. This is the first part in series of posts on ‘Background Checks For New And Existing Employees’.
Conduct a Background Check. Here is why.
A person’s background speaks a lot. It gives a lucid insight of the person attitude, temperament, and reliability. If a wrong employee with a criminal record gets in touch with your patients and somehow causes any injury; the entire liability will be yours. Even you may lose valuable data for the carelessness of an apathetic employee. In such circumstances, not only you mislay your repute, but money as well. If a painstaking effort to conduct a background check can save your money and reassure your peace of mind, then it is worth taking that initiative.
Consequences of Ignoring Background Check
It is crucial to hire an employee with clean records, or it may lead to many negative consequences that make tear down your hard work. A wrong hire means;
- Less productivity
- Unfavorable effect on the team’s morale
- Adverse impact of patient relations
- A possible revenue loss
However, if the employee has a past criminal record, consequence are going to be worse.
Thumb Rule of Background Check
There are various checks that you may conduct to draw a sketch of an employee’s overall persona. You may refer to the SBA’s Guideline for further information on what screenings you are permitted to conduct and what is unethical to ask.
However, you can still adapt a few below-mentioned practices to evade any pessimistic corollary.
- The basic check includes verification of the data and claims given in the resume. It may include past work experience, education, and other activities. Giving a quick look at the internet and social profiles can testify the applicant’s claim as well.
- If not provided, ask and check for professional references to validate the past work history of the applicant.
- You need to check further if the interviewee had any involvement in Medicaid or Medicare scam, or patient maltreatment in past. Department of Health and Human Rights had issued a List for Excluded Individuals who cannot contribute in centralized healthcare programs.
- Check the National State Sex Offender Registry search if you are hiring someone to childcare and other concerned positions.
- Credit history check often shed light on a person’s fiscal aptitude and honesty. If you are hiring for a position where the person is responsible for sensitive information and duties; it is worth conducting.
- Driving license search would be essential if the job role involves driving skills.
- NPDB or National Practitioner Data Bank search will help you verify if there is any past incident of malpractice or abuse filed against the licensed practitioner.
- See if the candidate got any county and statewide criminal history. Do see your lawyer to find out what your state legislation permits.
- Finally, a drug test.
Conducting the Detective Work
You can conduct few preliminary searches yourself by calling the universities, or previous employers for verification of the education and work history. Use the internet to learn more about the interests and preferences of the candidate. You never know when you can break through some potential detail.
With so many guidelines and legislation, the background screening can become a multifarious mission for an employee. There are several private background screening firms who perform the entire check staying with the legal constraint. It helps you avoid any legal turmoil in the future. So unless you are curious about every minute detail, hire a professional right away.
Apart from concentrating on the background checks and hiring procedure you need to rule out the policies and operation for the smooth running of the ongoing employment. All of these along with the reports of the background checks should be well documented.
Stay tuned for our next in series – private screening firms that can help you with background checks and, what checks to conduct for existing employees.
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