Are You Checking? Are You Sure?

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Headline “Ambulance company sued over paramedic’s alleged assault of elderly San Mateo County patients.” Disgusting right? Adding insult to injury, the first victim was initially not believed and there was no DNA evidence to support her claim, however, when a second victim came forward with similar claims, investigators said they were able to gather DNA evidence from her body. Prior to working for the ambulance company, this predator was fired from the South San Francisco Fire Department for submitting fraudulent timecards resulting in payment of $15,000 for hours he didn’t work. He is facing grand theft charges in that case.

Bottom line, per the article: “somebody isn’t doing their job, the company isn’t doing their job. We believe the facts are going to show either they didn’t do a background check, or they didn’t do a proper background check.” Technically, background checks only provide information on actual “convictions” not “allegations” unless it is a licensed individual where the licensure website may show pending investigations. However:

  • Do you ask prospective employees if they have any “charges” pending against them?
  • When was the last time you audited your background check process to ensure compliance with your policy?
  • Have you performed sensitivity training for caregivers stressing the importance of taking any allegation of abuse seriously and reporting it immediately?
  • Do your residents know that they can come to you if they have concerns?

Think about it. We have a huge responsibility, caring for frail elders who may have memory care issues. We need to be sure we are doing the right things and doing them right, no shortcuts or cutting corners. Stay well and stay informed!

Check out our resources on background checks:

HealthCap Background Checks/OIG Exclusion List Policy and Procedure

HealthCap Criminal Background Checks – Sex Offenders Policy and Procedure