Could a National Registry Save Hospitals from Hiring Problem Workers?

As officials continue to investigate the hepatitis C outbreak, some outraged citizens and healthcare organizations are calling for a national registry that would require hospitals and staffing agencies to report professional misconduct by medical technicians, as well using confidential, third-party reference checks. State and hospital investigations into the work history and conduct of David Kwiatkowski, a traveling lab technician and alleged infector who caused the hepatitis C outbreak at New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital, bring up questions into oversight responsibilities. Exeter believer providers and lawmakers should consider a mandatory reference disclosure process for healthcare providers to report problems with former employees, establish legislative protection for hospitals to share information that relates to criminal activity or threats to patient safety, and the possibility of a national registry that tracks problems of all healthcare workers similar to reporting systems for physician and nurses.

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