February 6, 2007 at 4:49 am Leave a comment

Have you ever noticed how many movies use the “vendor imposter” shtick as the “bad guys” default means of getting unfettered access to a facility with the intent of committing a crime?  They dress up as member of the cleaning crew, a delivery man, a door to door salesman, a waiter, a telephone, TV, or air conditioning repairman.  

Here are a few examples:  In Ocean’s Eleven, Matt Damon imposes as a Nevada Gaming Commissioner to distract Andy Garcia while Damon’s partners in crime shake down the Bellagio.  In Wallstreet, Charlie Sheen buys an ownership stake in a cleaning company to get late night access to files and sensitive information to help influence stock trades.  In Catch Me if You Can, Leo Dicaprio walked off with more than $2.5 million dollars impersonating a doctor, an airline pilot, and a prosecuting attorney.  I think IMdB’s movie description of the 1960’s comedy, The Great Impostor, starring Tony Curtis sums it up best….
“a bright young man who hasn’t the patience for the normal way of advancement finds that people rarely question you if your papers are in order. He becomes a marine, a monk, a surgeon onboard a Canadian Warship, and a prison warden.” 

I imagine that it would be pretty difficult to get counterfeit credentials that would allow you to board a Canadian Warship these days?  However, what is known about the hundreds of vendors, suppliers and contractors that are roaming our hospital halls every day?  Have these individuals presented their credentials?  Has their employer done background checks on them?  It is dangerous to assume anything these days.    How many of these vendors, suppliers and contractors have been screened against terrorist and sexual predator watch lists?  Are there former, banned/disgruntled employees that wish to cause harm to the hospital or staff members? 

In Fletch, Chevy Chase dressed as a doctor to get all of Alan Stanwyck’s home address and contact information from his patient records in a file drawer.   I wonder if the hospital’s security breach would be considered to be a HIPAA violation?

– Andy Monin

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Clamping down on gifts EQUAL SCRUTINY FOR ALL

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