Stepping Up Protection for Hawaii Patients: Department of Health Supports Enhanced Background Checks

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 in Ola Lokahi

530ea5a92f681.imageAs an advocate for the health of Hawaii’s people, the Hawaii State Department of Health is always seeking ways to improve the safe delivery of care. That is why the Department of Health strongly supports an administration bill currently in the legislature that seeks to expand the department’s authority to conduct thorough background checks on those who deliver care to Hawaii patients at licensed or certified healthcare facilities.

Currently, the Department of Health is only allowed to conduct criminal records checks. However, Senate Bill 1113 proposes broader authority for the Department of Health so that background checks can include a review of non-criminal registries, providing access to records from such areas as adult protective services, child abuse and neglect, and the certified nurse aide registry.

Comprehensive background checks would be used for persons applying for or currently holding a license or certificate to operate a healthcare facility, seeking employment with a healthcare facility in a position that necessitates non-witnessed direct contact with patients, seeking or holding employment with the department in a position that provides non-witnessed direct mental health or healthcare to Department of Health clients, or for contractors or subcontractors with the department or with a private or public licensed healthcare facility who work or have employees who work in similar positions.