By Danny Davila, Director of FCRA Regulatory Risk and Consumer Compliance Advisor, GroupOne Background Screening

After working for two major healthcare systems, the importance of emergency response planning was drilled into the workforce regularly. At GroupOne Background Screening, we understood once the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, it was important for us to execute our business continuity plan (BCP) for the safety of our employees. I’m proud to say GroupOne has continued to consistently produce background reports during its BCP. This is a tribute to the dedication of our team.

As an employer, especially hospitals attempting to hire foreign-born nurses, physicians and allied health professionals, you wish to ensure experience and education are verified from the source. Every aspect of creating a background report requires the accurate attainment of information so you can determine the next stage in onboarding a new employee. During these difficult times with potential staff shortages, this has never been more important.

Incomplete information is not an option for GroupOne. This is a challenge in today’s COVID-19 environment. Accessing data once provided in less than 24 hours has dramatically changed. Reliable data that could be verified by physical sources in courthouses are now delayed due to closures. Some screening providers may resort to using criminal reporting data obtained through online databases.

This is a risk GroupOne avoids because this information lacks recent verification with quite a bit of detail slipping through the cracks. This questionable practice of weighing profit over risk is unwise and we advise clients to rely only on data that can be validated. It is vital for clients to ask vendors where the criminal history was gathered from.

Employers that have elected to close their human resource departments are not able to conduct primary source employment verification requests. As a result, candidates who may have recently worked at a clinic, physician office or small hospital may not be able to have their employment verified. As you can imagine, the list of difficulties go on. At GroupOne, these difficulties do not exempt us from continuing to investigate until we obtain the correct information.

COVID-19’s impact will not keep us from producing high quality results, and we will continue to serve as your trusted screening partner during this difficult time.