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Healthcare Staffing: Develop an Effective Background Check Program

By: Celeste Ricco Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Healthcare Staffing Agencies keep the heartbeat of a hospital, facility and doctor’s office pumping. With these techniques in mind, you will have an effective and comprehensive background screening policy that stands up to your high demands.    

A friend of mine once said, "No one comes to the hospital because they’re feeling great. That’s why we try so hard to make the experience even a little easier." 

When we are at our most vulnerable, we inherently trust the doctors, nurses and healthcare partners taking care of us. From patient safety and peace of mind to protecting a healthcare facility’s reputation, uncovering the exceptional provider makes all the difference.


The Important Role of Healthcare Staffing

Healthcare staffing agencies occupy in unique niche in a hospital’s operations – maintaining a pool of qualified candidates for quick and appropriate placement throughout a region or the entire US. The responsibility held by these specialized agencies begs respect and is (most likely) not envied – you endure high pressure and demand, maintain vast industry understanding and knowledge as well as routinely engage your logistical and organizational skills, all while making sure the individual you place can uphold healthcare’s high patient safety and quality standards. In short, you are the jack of all trades.

Background screening plays an important role in your placement recommendation. Making sure you have an effective program that is easy to use, meets your expectations and those of your client, provides you accurate results and, of course, helps you ensure patient safety, has importance that cannot be stressed enough.


Setting Up for Success

Every request that hits your inbox carries its own set of demands, one of which is providing a hiring option for another company. Investing in an effective background screening strategy provides invaluable information.

To tell a client that it turned out the candidate they interviewed technically doesn’t have a medical license won’t go over well – unlikely situation, but you don’t want to be one of the few. After you determine the specific needs and requirements of your client, call your Account Executive for package options and to talk strategy. You’ll want advice on the most comprehensive service options based on your client’s requirements as well as information regarding additional details you would want to be aware of when communicating with your client, such as common court delays in your primary recruiting area.


Standardize and Stay Educated… Your Blood Pressure Will Thank You!

Just starting out? It can’t be stressed enough – clearly defined packages will save time and money! (Ah, the endless search queue organized via “creativity”!) Establish a standard format for package titles early on and stick to it. Your team should be able to quickly and accurately identify what they need to run. If they’re making mistakes, look into why and tweak. As you grow, you’ll appreciate the extra work up front! 

Already at full stride? Preserving your team’s knowledge about your various services and providing them with the tools to communicate effectively, to an (usually) already stressed out client, directly impacts your client retention. Think of the telephone analogy (assuming that doesn’t date me too much... if it does, think of something else). As information is passed along due to growth and turnover, make sure nothing is lost in translation by checking in with Choice Screening for refreshers and keeping up with our articles.

Quick Tip: Have your team connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook.


Use Choice Screening as a Resource

Remember, you’re not on your own out there when your client has a question. Choice Screening has a wealth of information so you have the resources you need to keep your clients happy and informed. How comprehensive a product is and information about turnaround times are two of our top inquiries across the board – the medical industry is no different! Review our services here, and reach out if you need more!



FCRA Compliance-related class action lawsuits are in the news almost as much as announcements for new Ban-The-Box states and locales. To start a background screen, a compliant consent form is required – if you don’t have this you have violated one of the (few) clearly written portions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)!

Quick Tip: A blanket consent form permits you to run a background check throughout the term of employment.

Another very important FCRA regulation is Adverse Action. Any action that is adverse to the candidate or employee’s interest requires pre- and post-adverse action procedures to be followed – read more about this highly important (and heavily litigated) topic here.

State, local, industry and federal laws can apply to you and your clients in a variety of ways. Keep up to date as laws change and review your policy periodically with your attorney.


Maintaining Your Applicant Pool through Background Screening

In the medical field especially, risk is not mitigated by a one-time background screen. Once a background report is completed, you can essentially look at it, make a decision and throw it away; meaning anything that occurs the day after a report is complete will go undiscovered until the next request comes through. For example, substance abuse, FACIS exclusions and privilege restrictions can all occur between the last background check and the next placement.

For this highly sensitive industry, ReScreen your employees, including drug and alcohol testing, before every new placement as a part of ongoing employment with your agency.

Think of it this way - how many times have you received a call to chat it up about the insurance fraud your favorite candidate just committed? Even someone you’ve known for years can have a secret…


You have the tools…

…to comprehensive background screening success for your healthcare staffing agency: Implement background screening standards to stay organized. Keep informed about your services and use all available resources. Stay compliant and follow laws and regulations. Lastly, re-screen candidates before each placement.

It’s a lot of work to find the right candidates, make sure they have the right qualifications, and place them in the right facility at the right time. Your background screening can be the easy part!


Choice Screening wants to know:  Where do you struggle the most when it comes to background screens? 

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Topics: Comprehensive, Background Screening, Industry Resources, Staffing

Celeste Ricco

Background screening enthusiast. Blogger. FCRA Advanced Certified by NAPBS. Dedicated to all things background screening!