It’s no secret some industries are faring better than others through the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare jobs are skyrocketing as hospitals, medical labs, research facilities, and other clinics try to meet the increased demand the coronavirus is putting on an already strained workforce.
Filling these jobs quickly, accurately, and safely has become a huge priority. Some healthcare groups are loosening background check requirements to get folks suited up faster.
What’s the safest approach to streamlining healthcare screenings in an emergency? EBI has some tips.
EBI understands businesses of all sizes need to be flexible in responding to the challenging COVID-19 crisis. Here are some best practices to help healthcare businesses stay safely ahead of the hiring curve.
Continue to Screen
Simply put, you must continue to run background checks on all your hires. Despite the pressure you may be feeling to onboard candidates quickly, this is not something to skip. Pre-employment screening is still one of the smartest tools to use to keep your employees, patients, and sensitive data safe.
Determine Core Compliance Checks
In ordinary times, you should do your best to maintain the same screening standards for your temporary or extended workforce as you do for your existing employees. However, EBI knows there is nothing ordinary about this pandemic and you may need to consider ordering specific types of background checks for certain types of positions. This is a way for you to focus on core background check requirements and still get the clearance needed for an employee to work in a specific role.
Due Diligence is a Must
Both the federal government (for Medicare and Medicaid providers only) and the state of New York have waived certain restrictions that now allow licensed doctors and other health practitioners to practice in any state. That will undoubtedly help overburdened hospitals and healthcare facilities meet increased demand. But it also means healthcare businesses are liable for the actions of these practitioners. You must practice due diligence and verify the qualifications of the people practicing in your facility.
More Information: EBI’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Larry White, has an important message as we all navigate this health crisis together.
Innovate, Innovate, Innovate
As with any crisis that creates a sense of urgency, there are a few people who see an opportunity to innovate. That is true of healthcare businesses who are trying to respond to a sharp increase in worker demand. Responding to an all-hands-on-deck call, athletic trainers at one Michigan hospital are now being deployed to perform COVID-19 tests. Some health insurance providers are allowing employees with medical training to volunteer at hospitals and some insurance companies are increasing physician availability through telemedicine platforms. And the President’s national emergency proclamation has eased background check restrictions on doctors who sign up to provide services through Medicaid.
These are good ideas for several reasons. They are:
- The insurance company identified a specific problem – not enough volunteers or telemedicine doctors - and resolved it without a lot of red tape.
- The Michigan hospital re-purposed trained, licensed, and screened employees whose job functionality didn’t match patient demand to perform much-needed services. This smart move also prevented layoffs, eliminated re-hire or new hire costs, and didn’t stress its already maxed-out human resources staff.
- The healthcare industry is one of the most regulation-laden industries the background screening industry services. Remaining compliant during hiring even without a crisis is tough enough. Providing sweeping regulatory relief to onboard doctors in an emergency helps hospitals hire fast and stay compliant.
ICYMI: Everyone is innovating during this challenging time, including EBI. See the temporary home of the Screening News Network.
Here to Help
EBI knows this is a challenging time for healthcare businesses. You want to do the right thing and have enough staff to help patients during the coronavirus emergency. This may mean you need to streamline your screening process. EBI can help you do that efficiently and safely.
When you’re ready to hire, EBI is here. Get to know us and speak with one of our experts.