Many people who suffer from physical limitations because of illness, injury, or advanced age rely on home health aides to provide care and assistance with daily activities. Family members often seek care for loved ones if they are unable to provide full-time care themselves. Many families choose to hire home health aides through agencies.
State laws vary on whether or not background checks are required for home health aides. If you run a home care agency, it would be wise to conduct thorough background checks on all of your employees, even if state law does not require it.
Background Checks Can Protect Clients
Patients who are disabled and home-bound are particularly vulnerable. They may be physically or mentally unable to protect themselves from abuse or to tell someone if it occurs. By conducting thorough background checks, you can protect your agency’s clients from abuse. A background check should look for a criminal record. Any history of violence, abuse, or neglect needs to be taken very seriously.
The potential for theft is another concern. Since aides work in the homes of their clients and are often unsupervised for periods of time, it can be easy for them to steal money or valuable items. The theft might not be noticed for a period of time, and someone might think the item was simply misplaced. Conducting background checks can help your agency identify job applicants who have stolen in the past and who might pose a risk to your clients.
Home health care agencies want to hire employees who are qualified for the job. Many states require aides to have specific training and certifications in order to protect clients from harm. Conducting background checks can help your agency verify that a person really has the training and certifications he or she claims to have on a resume and is qualified for the job.
Background Checks Can Protect Your Agency from Lawsuits
In addition to protecting clients, conducting background checks on job applicants can protect your agency. If a home health aide abuses or neglects a client or steals, and it is later shown that the person had a criminal record, but that the agency that hired the aide did not conduct a background check, the agency could be sued. A negligent hiring lawsuit could claim that the agency should have conducted a background check and that if it had, the aide never would have been hired and the client never would have been victimized. The cost of conducting background checks is much less than the cost of a negligent hiring lawsuit.
DataCheck Can Help Your Agency with Pre-Employment Background Checks
Agencies that hire aides to provide health care in clients’ homes have a responsibility to conduct thorough background checks. Doing so can protect clients from harm and can also help the agency avoid negligent hiring lawsuits. DataCheck has helped many types of businesses conduct pre-employment background checks. Contact us today to learn more.