CLEVELAND -- We entrust the lives of our loved ones to the nurses aides and health aides in nursing homes, assisted living and even in the home.
While it's state law that facilities do criminal background checks at hire and again in five years, a lot can happen in between.
Lissette Rivera made it her business to check even further. She started a website called SafecareNow.com that continually checks State Tested Nurses Aides (STNA) and other health aides.
"We're like the Car Fax for the healthcare industry. We continually background check nurses aids against this public data, such as certification data, abuse listings, and then we also check against nationwide criminal listings," Rivera says.
Shelley Sedor is the executive director of The Harbor Court Assisted Living in Rocky River and has used SafeCare for three months on her employees. She gets a report every month.
"SafeCare allows us to have that piece of mind and that comfort knowing that my staff is being checked out regularly and they're all on the up and up and there's nothing going on in the background that I'm not aware of," Sedor says.
SafeCare runs the employee's name and provides a report card. A red X indicates a problem and gives the reason. Turnover in this industry is more than 85 percent so sometimes a person's record doesn't follow them -- until now.
"A lot of people working in facilities work in multiple facilities, something could happen at another facility and I would never know," but Sedor says she does now.
"One in five nurse aids that are currently employed have a conviction that should have disqualified them from gaining employment in the first place," Rivera says.
Sedor uses the service on all employees, not just health aides.
"It's not just caregivers it can be someone working in the kitchen or a housekeeper who you can use this service for as well because if somebody has an abuse claim as an STNA well maybe they go get jobs as a housekeeper because that's flying under the radar," Sedor says.
SafeCare is also available for consumers to check out caregivers themselves. It costs ten dollars a month to join and search the database. Health care businesses are charged 40 dollars an employee.
The website does not check RN's or doctors, but Rivera is hoping to expand.