Hospital Background Checks: Which Information Is Reviewed

February 24, 2023

If you are applying for a job at a hospital or considering working in the healthcare field, you may be wondering which types of information are reviewed on background checks and what’s important to hospitals looking for employees.

Hospital background checks tend to be more in-depth than other types of background checks due to the nature of the healthcare work, and our article helps you understand more about hospital background checks.

Why Are Background Checks Important in Hospitals?

Background checks are important in general when it comes to hiring employees that are qualified for specific jobs, eligible to be hired into a specific company, and safe for both customers and staff in the workplace to be around.

Background checks that are performed on potential hospital employers are completed to keep patients safe from dangerous, unqualified, and unskilled doctors and nurses; one wrong step or improper knowledge of healthcare procedures can result in major issues and even fatal consequences.

Additionally, hospitals aim to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits and any legal issues that surround negligent hiring practices. This means that background checks tend to be stringent and expansive to ensure the hospital is doing its due diligence and protecting itself. Having an intensive background check process for potential employees also helps boost the reputation of the hospital and preserve its branding.

The Types of Background Checks Used by Hospitals

The following types of background checks may be used by hospitals to protect patients and ensure their due diligence about new employees is being completed. Hospitals may use one or all of these background check types to double-check the identity of applicants, their qualifications, and their eligibility for a career in the hospital.

Criminal History Checks

Criminal history checks are one of the most important checks that hospitals perform to ensure their patients are not under a direct threat from their doctors or nurses. They are also done to ensure individuals won’t steal from the hospital or their patients and that they won’t put themselves and others in danger while working.

Violent crimes, sexual offenses, and most felonies on someone’s record typically eliminate them from the job pool, as do crimes involving theft, fraud, embezzlement, and drug-related offenses.

Civil History Checks

Civil history checks are conducted to review any lawsuits that the applicant has been involved in. This is especially important to check if the individual has been sued for medical malpractice or misconduct. Both of these issues increase liability for a hospital and may put patients in danger, eliminating the candidate from a qualified pool of applicants.

Drug and Alcohol Screenings

The theft of drugs like narcotics from hospital storerooms and patients is on the rise in recent years, and drug and alcohol screenings are becoming a more commonplace step when it comes to hospitals hiring new healthcare practitioners.

By requiring drug and alcohol screenings before employment and making workplace drug testing a mandatory part of employment in the hospital, hospitals can cut down on the risk of their new hires stealing drugs and endangering themselves or others when at the hospital.

Qualification Verification

Qualification verifications are completed by every hospital to ensure that the person they are hiring can perform their duties and have achieved the proper education, licensure, and certifications required for their healthcare career.

Professional license and certification checks are available in every state, and hospitals will typically look at this information in addition to employment history, education history, and any listed references.

Exclusions and Sanction Checks

Any hospital that has fired or dismissed an individual for misconduct generally reports that person to an exclusion and sanction list in the healthcare industry. When reviewing applications for new employees, hospitals will double-check their names against these lists to ensure they are not present on them.

Sex Offender Registry Checks

Registered sex offenders are typically automatically disqualified from healthcare jobs and hospital work due to the proximity of these employees to vulnerable populations. Hospitals will ensure a thorough sex offender registry check is completed before hiring an individual to ensure no problems will arise regarding this matter.

Personal Information and Identity Verification

Personal information and identity verifications are utilized as a part of a general background check by hospitals to ensure that the individual is using their real name, being honest about their education, address, and employment experience, and that they are totally qualified for the position they are applying for.

A candidate’s social security number might also be used to verify their name and general personal information.

Career-Specific Checks

In some cases, certain background checks that pertain to the hospital career someone is applying for are required. These checks can include things like driving history checks for ambulance drivers and credit history checks for those that work in billing departments or with sensitive patient financial information.

The hospital will generally inform the applicant if additional background checks are required for the position that they are applying for.

Ensuring Your Background Report Is Accurate

Background checks are stressful for many individuals, and applying to work as a healthcare professional generally results in a lot of in-depth looks into your personal history. It’s important to ensure that your background report is completely up to date and accurate before you apply to any career position in a hospital to avoid problems with your application.

Perform a background check on yourself using an online background check search tool (like this one from Information) and review the information on your report. Check for things such as misspelled names and locations, incorrect employer and experience information, and the presence of criminal or civil records that don’t belong to you. If you do find something that is incorrect, reach out to the county records or county clerk’s office in your jurisdiction and speak to someone about correcting your records.

If you do notice something on your report that might be a problem or raise eyebrows as you apply for a job in a hospital, make sure you understand everything about this item and prepare an explanation accordingly. Some offenses or problems on background check reports may be overlooked with proper explanation and context, though this depends on the specific employer.

Overall, as long as you are informed about your background check report, obtain all important qualifications, and take steps to stay informed about your personal records when applying to employment positions in a hospital, you increase your chances of seamlessly being offered a career in the healthcare field.


Urban Splatter

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