Healthcare staffing agencies employ physicians, nurses, medical technicians, and healthcare professionals to work as contractors. Some major liability issues need to be taken into consideration due to a healthcare staffing agency’s operational dynamics.
- Contracts may transfer risk or responsibility to the agency.
- The agency ultimately lacks control over the day to day operations of the health care setting, which includes setting’s standards and policies; their coordination of services, and records; the quality of their other workers; and compliance with regulations.
- Maintaining a positive relationship with the contracted client can often influence not only the staffing agency’s ability to report or address areas of concern and adverse events; the ability to investigate; but also the agency’s ability to defend itself.
- If there are liability issues, it may be difficult to coordinate a defense because there are multiple defendants.
In order to meet the risk management needs of a healthcare staffing agency, there are some best practices for your healthcare staffing agency.
Develop an extensive screening process to select employees.
The healthcare staffing agency is held responsible if an employee makes mistakes or misrepresents credentials or experience. For this reason, it is extremely important to thorough screen all potential employees. Your screening should include:
- A private interview with a staffing specialist
- Identity verification (social security number)
- Skills testing
- License verification
- Reference verification
- Background check including past employment and education verification
- Drug screening
- Criminal record and sex offender registry search
- Orientation and safety training
Develop safety measures that provide a safe work environment for employees.
A healthcare staffing agency has employees working at varied sites over which they have limited control and supervision. For this reason, it is important that risks be limited by:
- Conducting thorough site inspections before assigning employees to a healthcare facility.
- Developing an understanding of client facility operations and culture so appropriate workers are assigned.
- Conducting customized client-specific orientations.
- Providing facilities safety consulting services.
Develop client risk assessment to assure the client is a good fit for your agency.
Not every healthcare facility requesting your services is a viable candidate for placement of staff. You can begin by checking the ratings and accreditation of the facility, as well as the client’s claim history including past litigation. Also, carefully review all contracts to make sure you are not assuming unnecessary liability. In addition, ask for:
- An overview of the client’s business operations
- Specific job descriptions for required staff which includes – Examples of tasks, personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, safety requirement, potential hazards
- Existing safety manual(s)
- OSHA reports
- Loss runs from at least the last three years
Healthcare staffing agencies require insurance for:
- Director and officer coverage
- General liability coverage
- Malpractice coverage
- Protection of physical property – This includes the facilities, grounds, equipment, and personal property at the healthcare site.
- Workers’ compensation
At Highland Risk Services, we a familiar with the unique risks incurred by healthcare staffing agencies. We can assist your clients and provide the coverage needed for their healthcare stafing agency. Call us at one of our two offices in Chicago at 847-832-9100 or Lansing at 517-676-7100.