Beebe Background Check Failed to Show Criminal History in Employ - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Beebe Background Check Failed to Show Criminal History in Employee

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LEWES, De. - Beebe Healthcare tells WBOC that the background check failed to show a criminal history in the temporary employee that gained access to personal information of about 1,900 patients. The employee, whose name was not released, was arrested four years ago in Pennsylvania, according to the healthcare provider. 

The woman worked at three locations in the Beebe Physician network, and had access to a hodge-podge of private information such as patient's names, date of births, social security numbers and health insurance information. 

Beebe officials told WBOC that they hired a third party staffing agency to assign them a "temporary outside contractor." This staffing agency then scanned the employee using yet another company that conducted the background check. This background check failed to show any red flags, something that shocked even Beebe officials. 

Beebe Healthcare officials denied WBOC's request for the name of the staffing agency that hired the background check company. Jackye Emory of Beebe Healthcare would not tell WBOC if this security breach would lead to a termination of the contract between the healthcare provider and the staffing agency. 

However, Emory did say that this incident has shown vulnerabilities in the background check process. To address this, she said Beebe will no longer rely on these outside companies hired by a staffing agency. Instead, she said they would use their own personal background checks, even for temporary employees. 

WBOC sat down with one woman from Dagsboro who intercepted the letter, on it's way to her grandmother. She said her grandmother has dementia, and so she didn't want to release her name, so as to avoid the family further stress over the issue. 

She read the letter to WBOC Friday afternoon.

"Beebe Healthcare is committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of our patients' personal information," the letter began. "Regrettably, we are writing you about an incident involving that information." 

She said her father opened the letter first. 

"He said 'uh oh' and gave the letter to me," she said. "And then I said it too: uh-oh." 

She said she was comforted by a sentence in bold ensuring that her grandmother's private information was as of now, not being used in a harmful way. 

"Based on our investigation, we have no evidence that your information was removed fromBeebe or has been used inappropriately in any way," the letter said. 

Despite avoiding severe identity theft this time around, she said she was concerned by this incident, saying that it is unacceptable that this employee slipped through the cracks, as she did.

"The background check was supposed to get that," she said. "And it didn't." 

Emory said the incident was just as much of a surprise for Beebe, as it was for their patients. She said this incident highlights a real problem when it comes to background checks in general.

"I think this is something that could have happened to any healthcare facility," she said. "Truly to any business. This could happen in the field of education for background checks for employees there." 

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