IRVINE, Calif., June 27, 2014 – Health care hiring is expected to increase this year, but at a slower pace than last year, according to HireRight’s Health Care Spotlight, a subset of its annual Employment Screening Benchmark Survey.
HireRight, a leading provider of global background checks, drug and health testing, and electronic Form I-9/E-Verify solutions, today announced the release of the 2014 Health Care Spotlight, which identifies screening practices, major trends in employment background checks, and common gaps in the screening programs of health care organizations.
The report indicates a slower job growth rate is anticipated in 2014 even though increased hiring will continue. While almost two-thirds of health care organizations (67%) reported they expect to hire and increase the size of their workforce this year, this is down seven percent from the 2013 report, reflecting a decreased rate of hiring.
“Patient care is the top priority for health care organizations, therefore hiring the highest quality, most reliable professionals is critical. Employment screening, professional license verifications, and federal and state sanctions checks are important steps to help improve security, provide exceptional care, ensure compliance with laws and regulations, and mitigate liability risks,” said Chuck Hammel, director, account management and health care solutions lead at HireRight. “These priorities are reflected in the top benefits reported by respondents – better quality of hire, improved regulatory compliance, more consistent safety and security, better company reputation, and greater employee retention.”
The Health Care Spotlight also reveals several common screening program gaps that many health care employers may face.
- Meeting only minimum medical sanctions checks: A significant compliance gap may occur when medical sanction checks are not performed frequently enough. Less than one-third of respondents (30%) checked lists monthly, 25% screened lists once a year, 12% checked quarterly, 4% checked less than once a year and 30% screened at other intervals. Some states are requiring more frequent sanction screening. For example, the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General has provided updates and guidance to organizations to run monthly sanction checks on existing staff. Ongoing monitoring helps ensure organizations are notified when an individual appears on a sanction list and that they are in compliance with potential changes in the required frequency of checks.
- Not conducting recurring screening: Less than one-third of respondents (31%) reported re-screening employees with no status change and 39% re-screen employees only when they’ve had a status change. This indicates the majority of respondents are not re-screening employees at all. This gap poses the danger of missing significant changes to criminal status, sanctions status, or other issues that may arise during an individual’s employment.
- Neglecting drug testing: Although screening to verify licenses is required in the health care industry, drug and alcohol testing isn’t generally required by law, although some states are introducing legislation to try to change this. In fact, only 54% of respondents conduct drug and alcohol testing. As a result, nearly half of respondents may leave themselves vulnerable to increased employee absenteeism, lost productivity, and above all, risk to patients and the potential liability related to drug-related damages.
- Forgetting to screen the non-employee workforce: Most respondents (59%) do not screen the non-employee extended workforce, including contingent or temporary workers, volunteers, and vendor representatives. A HireRight study found that extended workforce applicants were 94% more likely to have a felony record than permanent-hire applicants and approximately 50% more likely to have a misdemeanor record or drug history . A best practice for health care providers is to ensure appropriate screening of non-employee workers as well as employees.
- Overlooking global screening: Today’s health care employment market is afflicted by a shortage of skilled staff and an intense competition for talent. It’s common for organizations to recruit applicants who have lived, been educated, and worked globally. However, only 6% of respondents indicated their organization conducts global checks to verify candidates have the foreign education and experience they claim and that they don’t have any criminal history from other countries that would cause a security and liability risk.
In addition to these common pitfalls, the Health Care Spotlight explores many other issues, including the use of social media in recruiting and screening in the medical sector, common screening challenges, how screening is integrated into talent management systems, and the frequency and process through which screening programs are reviewed and revised.
Health Care Spotlight
The Health Care Spotlight is a subset of data collected from the 2014 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report, an extensive survey of talent management, human resources, and security professionals on topics related to employment screening. The Spotlight asked specific questions of the survey respondents that identified themselves as part of the health care industry. The complete report is available here.
HireRight Health Care Background Checks
HireRight serves more than 2,000 health care organizations with more than one million annual screens. Available screening services and cost-effective packages help facilitate organizational and regulatory compliance, and exclusive communication tools improve applicant satisfaction. Our expertise in integrating screening solutions with application tracking systems (ATS) delivers unmatched efficiency. For more information, go to www.hireright.com/healthcare.