Nursing Homes: Six Methods to Improve Safety and Security and Reduce Administrative Costs.
Part Two: Background investigations for staff, residents, and others
This is the second in a series of articles that describes how safety and security can be improved in nursing homes.
Everyday, nursing home residents, staff, and visitors are exposed to the risk of serious injury, violence, and criminal activity--within nursing homes. There are two common assumptions about safety and security in nursing homes.
- Residents are safer in a controlled environment such as a nursing home.
- The risks faced by residents are minimal because rigorous and uniform, safety and security procedures are utilized.
Nursing home administrators rely on pre-employment screening to reduce the risk of staff-related criminal activity. However, residents are also at risk from fellow residents who have not been screened or vetted with regard to their potential for violence or criminal conduct.
Many nursing homes admit potentially violent individuals who possess documented histories of violence and criminal conduct.
Consequently, elderly, fragile and seriously ill residents are exposed to residents who may be afflicted with mental illness, substance abuse issues, or who possess criminal histories as sex offenders, convicted murderers, theft, etc.
This presentation is crafted to improve nursing home safety and security, as well as reduce expenses linked to staff recruiting, training and retention.
Additional benefits are achieved by reducing costs tied to thefts, property damage, and replacement. Further benefits are achieved by reducing management time linked to injury assessment, employee discipline matters, and internal investigations.
Part 2: Background Investigation for Staff, Residents, and Others (Vendors, Visitors, Etc.)
Smart employers understand the dual benefit of hiring the best candidates and providing a safe and secure workplace for their employees, clients, visitors and vendors. Among the direct benefits are reduced costs to recruit new staff, as well as retention of trained and qualified senior staff.
1. Preemployment background screening should be an integral part of an employer’s policies, practices, and procedures established for the recruiting, hiring, and training of employees.
2. The preemployment background screening process begins with the employment application.
3. Certain information is essential and should be requested of all applicants from nursing home job applicants.
4. The scope of the background screen addresses three elements: Identity Verification, Personal History Verification, and Credentialing.
5. Preemployment background screening must be used consistently and uniformly.
6. However, a single screening process may not be appropriate for all levels of positions.
7. Add a workplace policy requiring employee to notify the Company if arrested.
8. Decision-making is the process of judging and evaluating the information gathered and relating it to the job description/requirements.
9. Using checklists to document compliance with company policy. When used properly, checklists increase compliance with policy by employing a “roadmap” for staff to use to perform functions the same way every time.
10. Checklists also provide a way to document how a process was performed.
11. Another benefit of checklists is reduction of stress and anxiety associated with performing emergency procedures.
12. When employment, and/or discipline-related background checks are conducted using checklists, they create uniformity, consistency, and provide a documented record for use later
13. The following are preemployment-related processes which should be covered in company policies:
a. Procedures in place which covers the manner, method, and depth of all applicant background screening procedures
b. Applicant has read and signed Screening Disclosure and Written Authorization?
c. Did the Applicant fully complete the employment application?
d. Obtained all Applicant address and employment for the past 7 to 10 years.
e. Are all employment and address gaps accounted for?