Social Media Background Checks in the Healthcare Industry

These days just about everyone has a social media presence of some sort. Whether it is your mom, sharing videos of cats on Facebook, or your son, sharing his latest Instagram story with his friends. Social media is more pervasive than ever before, and it goes to follow that a large percentage of the workforce also maintains an online presence.

Today we're starting a new series to take a closer look at some of the industries where we consider social media hiring reports to be a particularly good fit. This week we'll focus on the healthcare industry.

Healthcare and social media in the news

Healthcare workers often have the lives of strangers in their hands. Because of this, it is critically important that the right candidates are hired the first time around. Unfortunately, employees who don't share your company's values sometimes slip through the cracks. This can put patients in harms way and can be expensive. Negligent hires might even have a negative impact your company's brand reputation.

There have been numerous instances where employees in the healthcare industry have come under fire due to social media posts. Last year, a Denver anesthesiologist was forced to resign from her hospital position after she took to Facebook to refer to Michelle Obama as "Monkey face." A Miami neurologist was terminated after a YouTube video surfaced. The video showed her "hitting" an Uber driver in the face and throwing a tantrum in his vehicle. Several years ago, a nursing assistant was charged with invasion of privacy and conspiracy after she took a photo of an elderly resident's genitalia and posted it on her Facebook page.

How can social media background checks help protect your company?

Healthcare employees often have access to patient medical files and personal information which makes online security and data management a top concern. Social media hiring reports are designed to eliminate workplace safety threats and protect your company's brand reputation. Our reports identify individuals who exhibit behaviors that could lead to incidents of workplace violence, substance abuse, or other liabilities.

Once we have located the correct person's online presence, we examine their content for four types of red flag behavior. We specifically look for material that is violent, illegal, sexually explicit, or racist. If we locate any of that red flag behavior, we capture it (as seen below).

doctor doe twitter screenshot

We are careful to hide federal and state protected class information by redacting it from our reports. As a result, your company can make an informed hiring decision without violating your candidate's privacy or risking being faced with a discrimination lawsuit. It is essential for those in the healthcare industry to screen their employees in order to protect both their reputation as a company, and to protect the general population from negligent hires.

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Contributing author: Caitlin Rogers