The nature of elder care is changing rapidly in the United States. Changing attitudes were already leading to a shift to aging in place as baby boomers enter their golden years, and the shocking spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities is leading many North Carolinians to consider alternatives. We expect that this will lead to a boomlet in home health care—and with it, concerns over whether the people we’re letting into our homes to care for our loved ones are trustworthy. With so much at stake, hope and prayers won’t be enough; home health aide background checks from a professional investigator like Barefoot Professional Investigations are worth considering.
What’s Involved in Licensure?
North Carolina does better than some states in monitoring and regulating home health care professionals. The Division of Health Service Regulation, which operates under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, does not train home care providers. Instead, that training is handled through a small list of state-approved trainers. However, the DHSR sets forth rules and regulations for a wide range of health care modalities, from clinical labs to nursing pools, home care agencies, and home health agencies. They also provide an easier way of getting information on pending investigations and substantiated findings via the Health Care Personnel Registry Section of the NCDHHS Health Care Personnel Registry Section.
Why Use a Professional Background Check Service?
With so many layers of protection, it might seem as though background checks would be redundant. However, background checks serve two key functions in this instance.
Employment Background Checks For Agencies
Thorough employee background checks aren’t just for state compliance, as important as that is. We understand that most home health agencies go into business to help people, and that nobody wants to hire an individual whose conduct could cause physical, emotional, or financial injury to a client. We also understand the consequences if the wrong hire is made: loss of reputation, loss of revenue, and the possibility of costly legal action are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
While the NCDHHS database is better than nothing, it’s also not nearly as comprehensive as it could be. For that reason, it’s a good idea to conduct your own background checks to uncover a wider range of past conduct by prospective employees:
- Employment history
- Education and certifications
- Criminal history
- Civil complaints
- Sex offender registry
- Misdemeanor searches
Other aspects of our background checks, like credit checks and social media profile searches, go deeper because they illuminate other ways in which an employee can be a risk to your company and your clients. A better background check leaves you better protected.
Employment Background Checks For Individuals
The AHHC of North Carolina is a trade association for home health care companies. They provide a list of questions for home health agencies that can help you gauge their qualifications. If you have doubts during this interview process, it’s best to consider another agency—you have plenty of options. But sometimes you won’t encounter an issue until someone is already in your employ, or you may have chosen to hire from outside an agency. In those cases, it’s best to have your own background investigation performed.
Working With Barefoot Professional Investigations
Home health aides help the elderly and disabled remain in an environment that’s familiar, safe, and secure. That means a better quality of life than many individuals would find in a long-term care facility, and makes home health care an attractive choice. But because home health care professionals are, by definition, working with vulnerable individuals, it’s practically impossible to be too cautious. So whether you’re an agency or an individual who wants to improve your hiring, get in touch with Barefoot Professional Investigations to learn more about our background check services.