Selecting a Background Screening Provider for Healthcare: 5 Things to Consider in Your Decision-Making Process

Selecting a Background Screening Provider for Healthcare: 5 Things to Consider in Your Decision-Making Process
Senior Director of Marketing

Selecting a background screening company for healthcare has increased significance when compared to other industries because it can have a big impact on patient safety. With the healthcare industry’s rising challenge of consumerism, an effective background screening process is critical for delivering the best patient care. While price can be a factor as the industry continues to focus on reducing costs, it shouldn’t be the guiding factor in your evaluation of vendors.

Here are five key factors to include in your decision-making process as you evaluate background screening vendors.

1. Compliance Expertise

As background screening related litigation remains high and background check regulations continue expanding, compliance has never been more critical in the selection process. “Experts agree that any selection process should begin by verifying that a screening provider is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS),” Dave Zielinski comments in a recent SHRM article. For PreCheck, NAPBS accreditation means we operate at the highest level in our industry, and represents our commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.

It seems that new “Ban the Box” policies are implemented each month across the nation, making background screening compliance a very complex process especially for employers who operate in multiple locations. A trustworthy background check provider should be familiar with the various federal, state, and local laws to help support your organization’s compliance with the myriad of background screening regulations and guidelines.

2. Healthcare Knowledge

With the sea of changes continuously impacting the healthcare industry, healthcare organizations should especially consider a background screening provider’s knowledge and expertise of the industry. Is healthcare just another vertical in which they operate or is it their main focus? At PreCheck, for example, we recently revised our mission statement to better align with those of our clients: “Connecting people with information to advance the quality of healthcare.” Over the years, we’ve acquired a wealth of knowledge by exclusively serving healthcare organizations of all sizes. This allows us to provide our clients with a higher level of service and to take a true consultative approach in optimizing their background screening programs. We understand the many healthcare regulations, directives, guidelines, and accreditation standards that impact how your organization operates.

3. Technology Integrations

Another item that should carry some weight in your evaluation of vendors is their technology integration capabilities. Ask vendors if they can integrate with your Applicant Tracking (ATS) and Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS). At PreCheck, for example, we partner with some of the biggest technology leaders in healthcare such as HealthcareSource, Kenexa, and Oracle Taleo, to name a few. Although the background screening integration process can take some time depending on your organization’s requirements, the effort is well worth the investment for your background screening program. “Customers who have adopted these integrations have seen great benefits and continue to strive for continual improvements to help with quality and timing,” Vinh Nguyen, PreCheck’s VP of Information Technology, comments in an article.

4. Service Capabilities

In today’s environment, the customer experience remains one of the most important factors in any business partnership. Take the time to get to know your vendor and pay attention to details. How do they treat their customers? Are you able to contact them easily? Do you have to contact a call center or will you be assigned a dedicated account manager? Check whether the vendor has been recognized for their customer service by a third-party. At PreCheck, for example, we have been rated as one of the top ten background screening firms in America by HRO Today Magazine and our Customer Service Department has earned a Gold Stevie® Award.

Additionally, consider whether they have a full range of services to help you streamline your background screening and ongoing monitoring processes. A vendor that can conduct both the pre-hire background check as well as the ongoing exclusion screening for your employees, for example, can improve efficiency across your program.

5. Turnaround Time

Timeliness of service was rated as the leading challenge experienced with current background screening providers, according to a survey conducted during the recent SHRM Talent Management Conference. The use of HRIS and ATS integrations can help streamline and shorten turnaround times for employment background checks. Healthcare employers, however, should be wary of using background check vendors that provide instant background checks. Instant background checks are based on database searches which could have outdated information since they are not verified at the primary source. Even the FBI’s database, which is inaccurately assumed as a gold standard, contains highly inaccurate and incomplete data. When optimizing turnaround time, the accuracy of the methodology should be considered heavily to avoid sacrificing quality. A shorter turnaround time is not much help when quality of care diminishes.

Selecting the right background screening firm for your healthcare organization is an important decision. By including the aforementioned factors in your decision-making process, you can select a partner that will help you streamline your screening program without sacrificing quality of care.

PreCheck Pulse Report: Healthcare Employment Screening Trends Report