Survey: Most nursing home administrators say background checks are helpful, efficient

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New nurses feel ill-prepared to implement quality improvement measures, research finds
New nurses feel ill-prepared to implement quality improvement measures, research finds

Criminal background checks have not been found to significantly limit the quantity or quality of candidates for nursing home jobs, a top nursing home advocate says. A recent government survey of nursing home administrators paints an accurate picture of what once was forecast as a contentious issues, LeadingAge Director of Advocacy Information Barbara Gay told McKnight's Wednesday.

Ninety-four percent of administrators surveyed conduct these checks, and only 4% reported encountering resistance to checks from applicants, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General. The Affordable Care Act mandated the survey. Click here to read the report. 

Of the administrators who conducted background checks, 95% conducted them for all prospective employees, while 5% only conducted them for only certain positions. More than 8 in 10 (81%) administrators said they believe there is a sufficient pool of qualified applicants for job vacancies. The OIG received responses from 153 providers.

Many states have required criminal background checks for a number of years, and nursing home groups say they haven't received many complaints as a result, according to Gay, director of advocacy information at LeadingAge. She added that giving nursing homes access to FBI criminal background data has helped facilities screen employees across state lines. This has been particularly helpful in recent years.

“This solved the previous problem nursing homes had when they had to check records in one state at a time and didn't necessarily have the resources to check records of law enforcement agencies in a number of states,” Gay said. We haven't heard from any of our members indicating that criminal background checks are causing problems in hiring sufficient numbers of qualified staff.”

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