December 6, 2021

Background Checks and the Health Workforce: Practices, Policies and Equity

Background checks are intended to ensure a quality workforce, but they may also exclude qualified workers. Though these background checks may appear straightforward, they rely on information from a variety of sources, and are governed by a complex regulatory environment. Various laws, industry norms, and court precedents shape what background information is gathered and/or maintained.

This report examines why and how background checks on the health workforce are used; the broad variation of laws, regulations, and policies that govern them; their potential misuse; and ways to use background checks to help ensure patient safety while supporting health workforce development.

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