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Caregiver Background Checks: OK Advocates for Improvement

May 15, 2012

How much is it worth to ensure that your clients are in the hands of capable, trustworthy caregivers? While reputable homecare providers do their best to investigate the background of in-home caregivers, Oklahoma State AARP President, Marjorie Lyons, is advocating for tougher rules regarding caregiver background checks in an effort to keep seniors safe.

HB2582, currently under review in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, proposes a $4 tax that would fund a requirement for home care providers, nursing homes, assisted living and residential long term care facilities to check caregiver backgrounds against Sex Offender and Violent Offender Registries. According to an op-ed piece recently featured in the Tulsa World, written by Lyons, the bill would require direct care providers to be checked via fingerprint-based, nation-wide databases, where currently providers working in Oklahoma are only required to be checked via State databases. Per Lyon, the current system allows for loopholes that gives caregivers who have been convicted of crimes in other states to move and work across state lines, leaving Oklahoma seniors in danger.

Legislation, like this, bring to light the lack of continuity in required background checks for home care workers from State to State. However, they also make it clear that home care providers must work diligently to protect seniors from the “bad apples” that turn up in home care aide applicants. While background checks are an imperative first step, utilizing a homecare software or homecare systems, like ClearCare, also gives agencies the power to stand out in the crowd.

Homecare systems and homecare software let clients know that you are committed to diligent supervision of caregivers. Task check-ins via telephony or home care software management tools at the point-of-care keep managers and family members up to date, while caregivers required to utilize homecare systems are aware that their work is being closely monitored. While homecare software and homecare systems are integral to managing a successful homecare business, they can also be integral to helping weed out potentially ill-meaning caregivers.

A high-level of care starts by carefully screening caregivers, and maintaining that level of care continues by monitoring caregivers and maintaining a high level of transparency to clients via a robust homecare software and homecare systems that prove you care about the wellbeing, and safety, of your clientele.

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