Department of Health holding Northwest Hospital accountable for failing to report drug diverting surgical technician

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Department of Health issued a Statement of Deficiencies to Northwest Hospital for failing to appropriately investigate and report suspected drug diversion by a former surgical technician, Rocky Allen, who worked there in 2012.

The deficiencies identified by the Department of Health center on the hospital’s failure to respond appropriately to suspected drug diversion by Allen. Allen is currently awaiting trial on federal criminal charges for diverting medications while working at a hospital in Colorado.

State regulations require health care facilities in Washington to report to the Department of Health within 20 days when they determine an employee who holds a health care credential may have committed professional misconduct, such as drug diversion. The department’s investigation found the hospital failed to adequately investigate suspected diversion by Rocky Allen and did not report the incident as required.

The investigation could not confirm conclusively whether Allen actually diverted drugs while at this hospital or if his drug-related misconduct infected patients.

The hospital has ten days to respond. DOH will review and proceed from there.

There was no evidence of any patient exposure, and the risk is thought to be very low. 

However Northwest has notified patients who had surgery during Allen’s employment and recommended that they be tested for blood borne pathogens.


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