May 2nd, 2022 | Valerya Poltorak, General Manager, Sterling Healthcare & Life Sciences

3 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Drug & Health Screening

This situation may sound familiar: your perfect candidate has accepted your job offer, you start preparing the required paperwork needed to start onboarding, begin conducting a background check to verify your candidate’s work history, experience, and education, and then you send your candidate instructions on where to complete their required drug screening.

And then you hit a wall.

Your candidate ends up missing their appointment, delaying their onboarding process. The response time and accountability for the drug test site to deliver results is taking weeks to complete. You’re having to use internal resources to track down clinical results with minimal visibility or access into your candidate’s report. If you aren’t getting the results you need to move forward in a timely manner, your candidate may even decide to drop out of the hiring process.

Although hospitals and other health systems typically have their own pre-employment drug & health screening program, the array of challenges and stress that can come with this important step are often felt between both the employer and their candidates.

In this blog, we’ll outline three benefits that can come out of outsourcing your drug & health screening services.

1. Get Your New Employee to Day One Faster

With staffing shortages being felt amongst healthcare organizations nationwide, finding talent as quickly as possible is imperative. Data from PINC AI shows that staffing shortages have cost hospitals and health systems $24 billion over the course of the pandemic. Every day counts when searching for qualified candidates to deliver patient care and services.

Back in 2019, a large health system based out of the Midwest was experiencing an average of over four weeks (22 business days) for their candidates to move from “offer accepted” to starting work. Losing almost a month’s worth of work and productivity from your candidate can have an impact on the workload already being experienced by current staff.

Sterling’s clinical concierge services helped consolidate this health system’s pre-employment drug & health screening. The outcome? Their average start time reduced to under two weeks, cutting the process down by nearly half the time.

Outsourcing your drug & health screening services can relieve the burden of having to constantly keep track of every single detail and task involved in this process. Sterling’s unique concierge service model focuses on getting candidates registered for the required services at the most convenient locations and proactively obtaining results from labs and clinics. With a network of over 20,000 collection sites and clinics nationwide, Sterling’s concierge service can be flexible and accommodating.

2. Feel Peace of Mind with Compliance

Keeping up with ever-changing healthcare compliance on the federal, state, and local levels is often time-consuming and impractical for an in-house HR department. Consider some health systems who operate across multiple states: failure to follow the latest regulatory updates in just one state can result in missed background screening elements, leading to loss of licenses or provider enrollment, sanctions, and administrative fines or overpayments. In the last decade, companies have paid more than $34 billion in consumer protection litigation damages.

Leveraging automation and streamlining this important part of the process can help reduce the administrative burden while still maintaining confidence that your background screening program is compliant. For example, Sterling’s clinical concierge services can be used to create clinical and non-clinical packages for each state and role. Having a repeatable, scalable process in place can reduce both the potential for human error when placing orders, as well as prevent the ordering of unnecessary services for your candidate.

Another bonus: packages such as the ones mentioned above can also be configured into ATS software such as Oracle, HealthcareSource, iCIMS, and many of our other integration partners so HR teams can continue working with their current software and prevent any disruption with their day-to-day tasks.

3. Improve Your Candidate’s Onboarding Experience

The last thing you want your candidate to go through is a time-consuming and complicated onboarding experience. According to a CareerBuilder study, nearly 40% of employers have lost a candidate due to a poor background check experience.

Generally, candidates are asked to go to one central location to have their drug screening done, which can sometimes lead to long and inconvenient commutes, as well as limited appointment times. On the other hand, they may get sent to multiple locations for different tests, adding extra work to your candidate. What they should be focused on is wrapping up their current job and preparing to start their new one.

By outsourcing your drug & health screening program, you can help simplify your candidate’s experience and get them off to a good start prior to Day One. Sterling’s clinical concierge removes the hassle of having the candidate jump through hoops to complete their drug screening. Our concierge model guides the candidate through each step, including finding a location that’s most convenient for them and where all required services can be completed, registering the candidate, making sure the clinic performs the required services, and obtaining the results once tests are completed. With this unique experience, both you and your candidate will have confidence taking the next step together.


Even if your organization conducts their own drug & health screening, the administrative burden of managing and overseeing clinical tests and remaining up-to-date on compliance regulations can be laborious. By outsourcing this important step, hiring teams can stop chasing their candidates and instead get them to Day One faster and with a smoother experience.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.