Continuous Workforce Screening

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Healthcare Staffing: Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Safety

In the healthcare sector, no organizations have faced greater challenges or more traumatic crises than encountered since 2019. Being forced to deal with a deadly worldwide pandemic has caused over 300,000 healthcare workers to leave the profession, with another 800,000 expected to follow by 2027.

At the same time, the population of older Americans, aged 65 and older, is expected to rise from 58 million in 2022 to 82 million in 2050. Consequently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the creation of over two million new healthcare jobs between 2021 and 2031, more than in any other sector of the economy.

Finding millions of new physicians, registered nurses, LPNs, nursing aids, CNAs, and other hospital and healthcare staff members will continue to be a major challenge for the industry, especially if patient safety and community trust remain top priorities. However, while struggling to fill positions with skilled workers, healthcare facilities and staffing agencies cannot, and should not, compromise their hiring standards.

It is crucial to conduct ongoing background screening for healthcare workers, particularly in a highly competitive job market. Traditional pre-employment checks, while essential, only provide a snapshot of an individual’s history at a single point in time. Continuous background monitoring enables healthcare organizations to quickly detect and address any potential risks that may arise from an employee’s arrest and prosecution that occurs long after their initial hire.

Mitigating Risks from Workforce Misconduct

People’s lives change over time. As individuals go through life, they may face many challenges that could lead to problems like drug or alcohol addiction, financial struggles, or marital issues. These problems can cause extreme stress, which may lead to impulsive or even criminal behavior.

For healthcare organizations, the safety of patients and the reputation of the institution are of utmost importance. Therefore, it is crucial for institutional leaders to be aware of any staff member’s arrest, especially if it could affect their ability to perform their job effectively.

A US Department of Health and Human Services study found that 19 percent of nursing aids with verified abuse findings had at least one criminal conviction in the past before the substantiated finding. Fifty-three percent of the convictions were for property crimes, including shoplifting, writing bad checks, and burglary.

Other commonly encountered criminal activities within the healthcare industry include drug diversion by workers with special access to controlled substances. Instances of identity theft involving misuse of personal data in medical records, embezzlement, and fraud also occur frequently.

Headlines confirm the imperative need for continuous background checks in healthcare:

  • In January 2024, a Florida doctor was arrested and charged with secretly filming a 16-year-old patient in a changing room.
  • In February 2024, an Albany nurse practitioner was arrested for unlawful distribution of narcotics.
  • In March 2024, a 27-year-old nurse was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female patient at a major Los Angeles hospital.
  • In Iowa, a nurse reportedly used profanity and acted unusually at work. Her supervisors discovered that she was purchasing alcohol during working hours while on her break. When the facility’s management checked more thoroughly, they discovered that she had been convicted of DUI three times in three years while working at the hospital.

PostHire provides continuous worker monitoring by leveraging a unique proprietary algorithm on a national scale 24 hours a day. When an employee is charged with a criminal offense anywhere in the United States, PostHire will notify the healthcare facility or staffing agency management team of the arrest in near-real time.

Whether the arrest and prosecution involves a DUI, domestic violence, drugs, or another criminal offense, PostHire notifies the employer before the person has an opportunity to resume their duties.

In healthcare, continuous background screens are indispensable and an essential tool in protecting patients and other employees from potential harm and minimizing exposure to negligent hiring or reputational damage.

Patient Safety and Organizational Integrity

The best healthcare focuses on preventative care and proactive measures to avoid activities likely to present a high risk of injury. Similarly, any healthcare organization in today’s social environment must adopt a proactive approach to safeguarding patients and strengthening the institution’s valued position in the community.

For a customized assessment of your workforce monitoring program, contact Peter Collins at PostHire today.


Continuous Criminal Monitoring​

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