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The Joint Commission clarified two requirements for accredited healthcare staffing firms and hospitals in the handling of personnel records and orientation for temporary healthcare workers.
In the first clarification, The Joint Commission said it does not require healthcare organizations to manually verify human resource files for every employee of a contracted service. This means a hospital "does not need to request information from the organization or firm to demonstrate compliance with similar Joint Commission requirements."
The clarification aims to cut redundant work for hospitals and staffing firms. It also aims to prevent potentially adversarial relationships between hospitals and staffing firms over the need to balance the personnel privacy of workers and the demands of staffing customers.
The second clarification is that healthcare professionals from staffing firms do not need to participate in full employee orientation programs at healthcare staffing buyers' sites. The staffing buyer could rely on staffing firms to provide such training as long as it is in writing.
Full orientation programs can include such things as emergency preparedness, infection control and hospital employee benefits. Hospitals would still orient temporary workers on items specific to its location.
Both hospitals and staffing firms need to agree to follow the requirements as clarified before proceeding ahead.
The clarifications were announced in the August 2009 issue of The Joint Commission's publication called "Perspectives."