All NEW employees in a dental office who provide direct patient care must now undergo a “registry check” as required by recent Tennessee legislation. This includes a state by state look in any state which the individual has lived during the past seven years of the national sex offender public registry website including but not limited to the sexual offender registry maintained by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A similar check must also be completed of the adult abuse registries maintained for any state in which the employee has lived in for the past seven years provided such registry exists. This includes the Department of Health’s elder abuse registry. A person who shows up on one of these registries MAY NOT be employed in a direct patient care capacity.
Conducting such registry checks is relatively easy. Simply go to the Board of Dentistry webpage: https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/health/health-professionals/criminal-background-check/background-checks.html
This process takes less than five minutes. A note concerning the registry checks should be included in the employee’s personnel file.
This legislation applies to all health care provider professional practices and facilities, not just dentistry. As proposed by the Bureau of TennCare, this measure would have originally required a complete (and expensive) criminal background for all, not just new, employees. While the requirements have been dramatically reduced and liability protections added, TNAGD staff is working to with other provider groups to address problem areas by legislation next year.