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Background Checks For Medical Employees | Don’t Put Your Patients At Risk

Every once in awhile a news story comes along that truly chills you to the bone.  Unfortunately, that is case with an article published just last month. It tells a sobering tale about Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a clearly unqualified neurosurgeon who was consistently allowed to perform spinal cord surgeries on patients.  The severity of the events that took place are extreme. Yet, they draw attention to the need for trustworthy advanced background checks on medical personnel.

Duntsch worked for four different hospitals around Dallas over the course of two years and had an abysmal surgical success rate.  Out of the 38 patients he operated on, 31 wound up paralyzed or seriously injured. Sadly, two suffered fatal consequences. Despite these appalling statistics, Duntsch was able to stay employed before the Texas medical board ordered an investigation.  As a result, his medical privileges were revoked. He was later sentenced to life in prison for multiple cases of aggravated assault causing serious bodily harm.

What makes this situation worse is that his surgical incompetence was compounded by an apparent history of drug and alcohol abuse.  The article states:

…… Duntsch was allowed to operate on the spines of patients despite his “background of abuse of cocaine, LSD, hydrocodone and alcohol.” …… according to witnesses, Duntsch “had a gallon jug of vodka under his desk,” “swiped his surgical assistant’s narcotics” and “a bag of white powder was found in a baggie in his office bathroom.”

It is clear that given this level of information, no patient would want this man performing such delicate surgery.  It’s hard to fathom how such an unsuited individual could find themselves in this position without anyone noticing or putting a stop to it.

Fox News | Read More: ‘Dr. Death’ podcast: Surgeon recalls Christopher Duntsch’s botched procedures: ‘He couldn’t operate at all’

Don’t Take Your Medical Background Checks Lightly

A thorough advanced background check could help your facility avoid a similar situation in the future.  Partnering with an experienced employment screening service will not only add an extra layer of protection for your patients, but it will also wind up saving you money in the long run.  Keep in mind, there is no such thing as being too thorough with a medical employee’s background check.

You have a lot of responsibility if you’re in charge of human resources at a hospital or other medical facility that involves treating patients.  In this industry it is of the utmost importance that you ensure all doctor and nurses are qualified and able to perform their duties. Contact ESS today to learn more about getting advanced background checks on your incoming medical staff and keep your patients safe.

Better Safe Than Sorry | 3 Ways Your Business Could Be at Risk if You Don’t Pre Screen

When it comes to hiring a new employee, it’s always important to find someone with a good reputation. But how can you know someone you just met? Where has this person been?  In order to truly find out about an employee’s past, background screening is necessary.

Some may say that pre employment screening is a waste of money, but if you hire the wrong person, it could cost you much more. In fact, employee screening can save your money and can protect your business from failing.

Here are 3 ways your business could be at risk if you don’t check a new hire’s history:

The Wrong Hire Can Lower Current Employee Morale and Productivity.

Don’t let one bad egg ruin your perfect team synergy. Your employees are what keep your company breathing, so you want them to be happy working together. Performing a thorough background check will prevent you from hiring the wrong person, and will decrease your company’s risks of damaging reputation, or losing customers/market share.

The Cost of a Bad Hire Can Cost You.. Big Time.

This includes training, severance costs, and productivity lost. Hiring and firing the wrong person could cost your company up to 5x the applicant’s annual salary. So many businesses across all industries end up wasting time, money, and resources to find another, replacement employee. A background check will help you avoid hiring the wrong people and will save you money and time.

You significantly increase the risk of employee theft.

15% of applicants have admitted to stealing merchandise from an employer. Reducing the risk of employee theft with screening will prevent you from losing money and products. Performing a criminal background check can help you know that you aren’t hiring someone who will steal from the company. 

It’s important to make sure you are hiring the right people to be a part of your staff. Our background check services help you ensure you are able to hire with confidence. For employee verification and other pre-employment screening services, please give ESS a call to learn more about what we can do for you!

 

Amidst Officer’s Overdose, BPD Reveals Drug Test Void

Last week at 3am on Friday morning, Buffalo Police and first responders saved a man from overdosing on heroin. In the thick of an epidemic facing the region – almost 400 heroin related overdose deaths since 2014 – this was the first time that emergency services were provided to a Buffalo Police officer.

The 26-year-old man had been a member of the Buffalo Police Force for the last two years. He was saved by being administered two doses of Narcan, an opiate antidote, and is luckily recovering. The daunting event sheds even more reality of the problem of substance abuse in the region, having a man employed to prevent such events from happening overdose himself.

With the story surrounding the man’s overdose, questions were raised when it was revealed that no one employed by the Buffalo Police Dept. has been drug tested for over two years.

The last doctor who administered random drug tests to Buffalo Police left his contract two years ago, leaving the position void, and meaning no one would be drug tested.

Another officer aware of the overdose of his comrade had this to say, reported by the Buffalo News.

“The department has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, and something like this really is shocking. Right now, we are in shock mode. This is unheard of.”

How could the department have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs without any form of employment drug testing?

“This is the first time we have had an officer who had taken heroin. We’ve had other officers in the past who have lost their jobs because they tested positive for marijuana or cocaine, but this is the first time we’ve had heroin.”

The department normally conducts random drug testing on officers at least once a year, but haven’t for over two years. Police Benevolent Association President Kevin Kennedy claimed that finding a new source for drug testing is a top priority.

“The city is hoping to have a new medical review officer in place by April or May and the plan is to have 100 percent testing every year for four years,” Kennedy said.

The role of a medical review officer is to set the protocol for testing and examine lab test results to verify if anyone has violated the department’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use. Mayor Byron Brown didn’t directly answer why the position hasn’t been filled for over two years, but he had this to say, as reported by WGRZ.

“We have an RFP that’s in the field. The language in the RFP has been agreed to by the police management and the PBA,” said Brown. “We expect to have a doctor retained soon to do that kind of work.”

The fact that the officer survived the overdose is extremely fortunate, but it is baffling how no drug testing has been administered to Buffalo Police Officers for over two years. There are countless benefits to pre employment, reasonable suspicion, and random drug testing. It almost always benefits the employer, in the sense of weeding out any suspected substance abuse of their employees, but with the rise in overdose related deaths in Western New York, drug testing also ensures the safety and wellbeing of the employees themselves.

 

For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.