It is the responsibility of the operators of nursing homes to make sure they check the backgrounds and credentials of all their employees. These employees, whether they are doctors or nursing assistants, all need to be well screened before having access to patients that rely on their care. With rampant abuse of patients within the industry it seems obvious that the first step would be to make sure the people you hire do not have a criminal history and that they are who they say they are.
Well Known Nursing Home Operator Hiring ‘Fake’ Doctor To Care For Patients
A company that owns 23 different nursing home, hospice and assisted care centers in South Carolina recently hired a doctor that was not who he said he was. After six months giving medical care to patients, as many as 500 different patients at five different centers, it came to light that the man was not a doctor, nor had he ever been one.
Ernest Osei Addo used the name of a licensed doctor to get his position with the South Carolina facility. It was not until the doctor whose name and identity he had assumed reported to police that someone was using his identity to use his credit cards and practice medicine, that Addo was found out. However, for six months prior, he was allowed to practice medicine on the nursing homes patients.
Hiring Practices At Senior Care Facilities: Minimal Oversight Of Those Caring For The Most Vulnerable
A report issued in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that the hiring practices within nursing homes has much to be desired. The report states that 35,000 nursing home employee names were scanned for criminal records within the FBI. Of the sampling, 92% of nursing homes were found to have at least 1 employee that had a criminal record and almost half of the facilities had at least 5 employees with criminal records.
The sampling mostly contained facilities from states that required background checks, yet still the majority of homes had employees with criminal convictions. These numbers point to the need for more stringent hiring practices to be enforced within the nursing home industry. Nursing homes such as the one in South Carolina need to be screening all employees, looking at criminal records and verifying their identities, especially someone as high ranked as a doctor.
The first step in providing excellent patient care in nursing home is hiring people that are competent, caring and honest. To find these types of people, nursing homes must be diligent in their hiring practices to make sure the employees they hire have no criminal convictions and they must verify the information provided by applicants. It is a standard that is really just the bare minimum of what should be expected of health care facilities.
Civil Fallout When Facilities Fail To Protect The Fragile
In an episode when a nursing home patient is physically or emotionally harmed by a staff member and the facility knew or should have known of the employees violent propensities, the individual or their family may have a right to pursue a nursing home negligence lawsuit against the facility. If the allegations against the facility prove to be well founded, the family may be entitled to receive damages for any physical or emotional harm.
For more information on the responsible hiring practices at nursing homes visit the following: