Protect Patients and Avoid Lawsuits: 5 Background Screening Best Practices for Hospitals

Nick Fishman


Hospital employees are responsible for the well-being of their patients. They are expected to adhere to certain standards so that they can properly care for those that need help in addition to representing their organization in a positive light.

Employment background checks are a critical tool for ensuring that none of your employees could potentially endanger your patients or put your organization at risk of being sued by someone harmed by a negligent or malicious employee of yours. So how can you protect your patients and company’s reputation?

Here are the Top Five Background Screening Best Practices for Hospitals:

1. Update Your Background Screening System

Just like many other aspects of healthcare, background checks have been impacted by advancements in technology. It is important to make sure that your background screening tools are as up-to-date as possible so that they provide comprehensive and accurate background checks that cover the full range of your employees’ criminal history.

2. Train Your Employees for Compliance

Whether your HR department or someone on your administrative team is responsible for background checks for prospective employees, it is essential that everyone involved understands how the process should work. These employees should be sufficiently trained and able to perform their job accurately, since mistakes could lead to someone getting hired who may put patients in danger.

3. Transparent Background Screening Policy

Potential employees need to understand the specifics of your background check requirements. Otherwise, you run the risk creating a confusing and dissatisfying hiring process. It could also put your hospital in legal danger if your background check policy is not clearly communicated to potential hires.

4. Full Policy Disclosure for Protection

Your employees should be well-versed in your employment background screening policy so there is no confusion internally. This way, no one can claim that they did not know your company’s stance on background checks for hospital employees, which will lessen the chance that current employees might file a lawsuit against your hospital claiming that you were negligent or discriminatory in your hiring process.

5. Help from Background Screening Companies

In addition to background checks for doctors or nurses, background screening companies work with their clients to ensure that their background screening policy is compliant with the most recent state and federal laws.

Don’t put your hospital or its patients in danger. Be sure that you have a legal and transparent policy for background checks for not only doctors and nurses but also for all other employees at your facility. When you have a strategy for employment background checks it will be much easier to keep patients and your hospital protected from problematic situations, from potentially dangerous employees or a lawsuit filed against your facility.

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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