Is incompetence common place?

A pharmacy tech looted 262,000 hydrocodone pills from the Providence Sacred Hart Medical Center Pharmacy over four years, until some one noticed. But the pharmacy tech is a minor part of the story.

DEA joins Sacred Heart pill theft investigation | Spokane/E. WA – KXLY.com.

According to the KXLY news report (and assuming it is true):

  • No effective inventory control to detect theft, even of tightly regulated narcotics.
  • Anyone could login to the pharmacy’s computer system using the account name ‘student’ and password ‘student’, hence, no security controls and no logging of individual access.
  • Who thought granting all students a single account, whose login credentials never changed, made sense?
  • Who thought it appropriate for students to order narcotics and be untrackable?
  • Who thought it appropriate for students to be allowed to manipulate the pharmacy’s inventory records?

If Sacred Heart messed up this badly, what should we be thinking of the rest of the facility, staff and services? The words “best-in-class” and “award winning” do not come to mind.

Patients have to pay higher fees to cover SHMC’s long term drug thefts (and how many other thefts have been occurring?) The community suffers from high crime rates as addicts steal to buy stolen pills pilfered from SHMC. Sacred Heart’s actions looted the community.

The newspaper has this amazing quote:

“We have already completed a thorough review of our internal process and have made significant control improvements that we feel will prevent this from happening again,” the hospital spokesman said. “And, going forward we will continue to evaluate to ensure we have best-in-class processes, policies and practices.

SHMC has no idea what “best-in-class” means or this would not have happened. This story is about management incompetence, not about a lowly pharm tech.

This post is not one of our usual data-backed posts. I put it here in the interest of trying to figure out why the local economy stubbornly lags the state and the nation. We know that Sokane’s wages fall further and further behind year after year, for decades. What causes this?

At this point, it seems to be due to a combination of indifference, incompetence, lying and a local cartel. These issues turn up much too often – why?

Update: Some think we might hire pals and family rather than the best.

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