If you have doubts about the doctor or nurse treating you and want to know about their background, you need to read this article. We will explain how healthcare professionals, how some bad apples can slip through, and how you can ensure you don’t fall victim to one by running a background check
Healthcare is a profession built on trust. When you go to see a doctor or a nurse, you are trusting them to have the skills and knowledge to correctly diagnose what is wrong with you and take the right steps to make you better.
But how can you be sure that the healthcare professional you are placing your trust in is up to the job? The answer is that you have to trust the system that puts them into the position of trust they now hold.
But no system is perfect and mistakes can and are made. As a result, while the vast majority of doctors and nurses are consummate professionals and should always be making what they believe is the best decision for their patients, a few are not.
So, how can you be 100% sure that you are not one of the unlucky ones? In this guide, we will explain how healthcare professionals are vetted, how mistakes can be made, and most importantly, how you can run your own checks to ensure you don’t end up becoming another statistic of a substandard doctor.
How are healthcare professionals vetted?
Most jobs these days require applicants to be background checked before they can be formally offered the role. Jobs across the healthcare sector are no different, but here the background checks are significantly more important and, usually significantly more rigorous too.
Working in the health sector isn’t like driving a delivery van or working for an insurance company. In health jobs, you will have the well-being of other people in your hands every day and the decisions and judgments you make could mean the difference between life and death for them.
For the companies that hire doctors and nurses, it is therefore essential that they pick the right person for each job. Making the wrong hire can lead to costly litigation, huge damage to your company image, and the moral stigma of knowing the damage your mistake has caused to your patients.
RELATED READING: Can a previous employer disclose why you left?
As a result, applicants for healthcare jobs are put through one of the most rigorous and detailed background checking processes around.
What can you do if you have doubts about your doctor or nurse?
Reading all this might make you feel helpless and at the mercy of a system that you know is capable of making mistakes. But that is not entirely true.
If you are worried about a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare professional who is treating you or your family and friends, there is a way that you too can make sure they aren’t hiding a secret past. Professional background checking sites will only work with employers but there are no shortage of public background checking sites available too.
These sites will sift through the huge amount of data that is held in the public domain about every single person in the USA. There are fewer regulations and restrictions on public background checks so it is quite possible that these sites could turn up a piece of information that a professional check will miss.
A public background site will pull together data from hundreds of different sources and compile it into a report that is easy to read and understand. They are completely legal to run and require only a minimal amount of information to work. Even if you only know your doctor’s name and the city where he lives, a background checking site should be able to find out a huge amount about him and fast.
They are a simple and affordable way to give yourself peace of mind before you or your loved ones place your trust in a healthcare professional you hardly know.
Best background checking sites
If you want to know more about the doctor or nurse who is treating you, your family, or your friends, a background check is the best way to reveal any hidden secrets they might have.
We have tested all the top background checking sites to see which is best at generating a comprehensive profile of your healthcare professionals. We found that there were two sites that stood out from the pack for offering the most detailed and accurate background checks around. Our top two background checking sites were:
TruthFinder is a background checking site that really lives up to its name. It is capable of generating impressively accurate results and throughout our tests, it didn’t put a foot wrong, even when we tested it with complex searches and provided the site with limited information.
The speed of the TruthFinder searches was not quite as consistent as some other providers but we did this was dependent on the nature of the search. The final reports it created were first-class though as were their dashboard and their apps, which were all user-friendly and looked great.
TruthFinder offers a 24/7 customer support service that is available on a toll-free number and is excellent for new or inexperienced users alike. We came away from testing this site with a real sense with the customer is always their top priority for TruthFinder. This is not always the case so it is to TruthFinder’s enormous credit that they leave such a positive impression.
Instant CheckMate is known for its blazing-fast searches. In fact, this site can generate results faster than any other site we tested, and this wasn’t at the expense of accuracy either. Instant CheckMate can still produce accurate results even if we tried it out with vague and misleading searches.
Instant CheckMate has nicely designed apps for iOS and Android devices and a good desktop dashboard too. The customer service is very helpful and responsive and the final reports were hugely detailed and never too tricky to decipher.
At $34.78 per month or $27.82 per month for a three-month subscription, they are not the cheapest background checking site out there. But if speed and accuracy are what you need, Instant CheckMate is definitely worth paying a little more for.
What will a healthcare background check cover?
A healthcare background check will typically involve looking into the following key areas:
- Criminal records check – Health companies will want all job applicants to be subjected to a rigorous criminal records check to make sure there is nothing anywhere on their record that would prevent them from taking the job. It will include checking records in all 50 states, checking all federal databases, terrorist watchlists, and health care exclusion and sanction lists. It should also involve checks on social security numbers, previous addresses, and any death master lists to ensure applicants really are who they claim to be.
- Employment verification – Applicants to healthcare jobs will have to submit a detailed resume and all the details provided on this will be check exhaustively to ensure the previous jobs they claim to have held are genuine.
- Reference verification – For many jobs, a reference check will involve little more than ensuring you worked for the company and checking how much your final paycheck was for. Healthcare reference checks should go much deeper and check things like reasons for leaving, any disciplinary issues, how you performed in your job, and what sort of an employer you were.
- Professional license checks – Lots of medical professionals will claim to hold specific licenses or trade body memberships in specialist areas. A healthcare background check should ensure that all of these are genuine too.
- Education check – A lot of people exaggerate or lie about their education records on their resume but in the health sector, if you falsely claim to have a qualification, it can have incredibly serious consequences. That is why healthcare checks always go the extra mile to ensure your qualifications are genuine.
- Drug testing – Healthcare professionals cannot perform properly if they have drug or alcohol problems yet the pressures of the job mean these are more common than you might think. Healthcare background checks should delve deep to make sure there is no evidence of substance dependency anywhere on your record.
How do bad people get hired?
Given how thorough all healthcare background checks appear to be, you might be wondering how it is possible for anyone to fool their way through the systems. But no system is perfect and when it comes to healthcare, no two systems are exactly the same either.
There are a lot of variables that can affect a healthcare background check. Some of the most common ones include:
Different healthcare company standards
There are a myriad of different healthcare companies operating across the USA. Some offer a huge range of services while others are more specialist. All will run background checks on their new hires and these will comply with all the relevant legal requirements. But the blunt truth is that some companies will have far higher standards than others, and some will take the process far more seriously than others. As a result, the standard of background checks and the importance placed on their results can vary significantly.
Variable quality background checking sites
Almost all healthcare companies will outsource their background checks to companies that specialize in healthcare background checks. These sites will meet all the minimum standards and legal requirements but they will use different data sources and some will be far more detailed than others. Different background checking sites can routinely turn up different results and as a result, pertinent information can sometimes be overlooked.
There are some records that you might think would be relevant to an applicant for a healthcare job that these professional background checks won’t be able to access. Federal and state laws set various limits on what a background check can and cannot look at. For example, in many states, it is illegal for a professional background check to consider a criminal record that occurred more than seven years ago. These laws mean people with question-marks in their past can still end up working in the healthcare sector.
Healthcare background checks should ensure that no-one can trick their way into a job they aren’t entitled to have. But if someone is clever and determined, there is always a chance they might be able to fool the system. In an era where identity fraud is a growing problem and there is a mass of data readily available about all of us, this has never been easier. Fraudulent applicants shouldn’t be able to get through the system but the blunt truth is that it is always possible.
If you are unsure about a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional who is treating you and want to know more about them, you need to run a background check on them.
In this article, we have explained how professional healthcare background checks work but also how they can make mistakes. We have detailed when and how these mistakes can happen and shown that, while the system is fairly robust, mistakes can still happen.
We have also suggested a solution which is to use a public background checking site to perform your own background back. These sites are completely legal as well as being simple and quick to use.
We have also revealed the results of our exclusive tests which identified the top two background checking sites on the market right now.
Have you ever had concerns over a healthcare professional? Did you run a background check and find something unsettling? It is always interesting for readers to hear about real-life experiences so why not share yours with us today using the comment box below?