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Tips for improving background checks
Pernille Ostberg, president of Matrix Home Care in West Palm Beach, FL, offers these tips for improving background checks on health care workers:
Educate yourself on the different types of screening. Are checks being done on a national, statewide, or local level? Is there a review of prior arrests and convictions, including motor vehicle tickets and accidents?
When hiring from an agency, discuss the agency's screening policies and procedures. Don't just accept their assurance that they do background checks. Find out exactly how they are conducted. Do they check for the past year? Seven years? Misdemeanors? Just felonies?
Don't accept a candidate's copy of a prior background screening. It could have been changed or forged.
Validate any information relating to a potential issue, such as a pending divorce or home foreclosure. Don't assume the facts are correct until they can be verified.
Ask for references, and be sure to talk with them. This can be the most important part of a background check. References may reveal information that is not apparent in the background check documentation.