Background Check Fails to Find Criminal Past of Denver Surgical Technician

When do you know a background check has failed? For Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, that moment came back in June of last year when it was discovered that surgical technician Rocky Allen had been stealing syringes of the painkiller Fentanyl from patients. There was also a possibility that patients who had been treated at Swedish while Allen was employed had been exposed to HIV and hepatitis, of which Allen was a carrier.

The Aftermath

Allen is now serving time in federal prison and both Swedish Medical Center and the provider that had been outsourced Allen’s background check, PreCheck, are facing lawsuits for the oversight. So how could this happen? Where did Swedish and PreCheck go wrong?

Hiding in Plain Sight

Allen’s history of addiction and drug theft preceded him long before he was hired by Swedish. He had been court-martialed in the Navy for stealing fentanyl and had engaged in similar behaviors with previous employers, so why did Swedish hire him?

The answer: they didn’t know. They had outsourced his background check to Houston-based PreCheck, who had failed to uncover the facts about the court-martial, despite it being public record. And as for Allen’s work history—he simply omitted the hospitals that had fired him from his resume.

How to Avoid Background Check Failures

The fact is, you won’t know a background check has failed until a breach of trust has occurred, potentially resulting loss of business at best and legal action at worst. It wasn’t a mistake for Swedish to outsource their background check, but in failing to do their own due diligence on the claims in Allen’s resume. PreCheck is to blame for conducting a bad background check. A comprehensive check on Allen would have included a list of crucial verifications.

Contact VICTIG to learn more about what makes up a comprehensive background check and protect your company from liability.

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