• 950 Boardwalk Suite 305, San Marcos, CA 92078
    • 760.705.4078
    • tvidals@rxpert.solutions

Increased Diversion Risk During a Pandemic

Rxpert Solutions > Controlled Substances > Increased Diversion Risk During a Pandemic

The focus this last year in hospitals has been getting through the COVID crisis and that meant caring for the patients while keeping the staff safe. Finding ways to provide the highest level of care while minimizing the risk to those caring for them. In many cases, this meant changing the workflow to minimize exposure. It may have meant bringing in temporary staff to support the higher census or fill in for staff who were themselves out sick. When it came to diversion monitoring, I would venture to guess that many hospitals that already had a fairly solid diversion monitoring program in place may have found themselves unable to devote the same resources to detection. For those facilities without a solid program, I can only hope some thought was given to the controlled substance chain of custody when new processes were implemented and new staff were brought on board. Minimizing risk and optimizing chain of custody are things that are within our control if we devote the time and resources to planning and implementation.

What about the things we can’t control? The emotions many are feeling during this time can be overwhelming. Our healthcare workers are not isolated in the traditional sense because they are still working, but they may be isolated from their family in order to protect them. They may have a higher level of anxiety if they feel at risk for infection day in and day out. The workload for many has increased, and for some the outcomes they may be seeing are a reminder that life can be taken without much warning. These types of stressors can push people toward alcohol or drugs and these are not risks we can minimize in the more traditional gap analysis way. Be mindful of the stressors of your staff. Check in with them. Don’t lose sight of the need to monitor for diversion as there are more reasons than ever to be vigilant.

Our References

Terri is absolutely phenomenal. She is an incredibly knowledgeable pharmacy resource. As the medication safety officer, the quality initiatives she implemented not only impacted the patients at our medical center but also reached into the community. Terri is a genuine professional who upholds accountability while creating community among her team members. She is a great listener to identify friction points and has actionable ideas to implement improvements.

T. Eagle. MBA, MLS(ASCP), CLS Lab Operations Manager

Terri is an expert at prospective risk identification -Failure, Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). Terri participated in CHPSO Patient Safety Safe Tables and was part of the Hospital Quality Institute’s Regional Quality and Patient Safety Leader Network.
She is an excellent public speaker and communicates well with public and professional audiences. I look forward to her continued work in medication safety.

Regional Quality Network at HQI

Terri has done a tremendous job with the controlled substance diversion program. She has had such a positive impact and has really made the hospital a safer place.

Tri-City Medical Center
Nurse Manager

We would not be where we are with the improvements we have made with opioid prescribing if it were not for Terri driving the process.

Tri-City Emergency Medical Group
Chief Physician

In addition to understanding the ins and outs of the [controlled substance use] process completely, she is very proactive in coming to me with provider issues that she detects. She truly balances the administrative duties and the regulatory components demand with a keen sense of what my practitioners do and what their needs are on the ground. Terri is instrumental in working with my department, balancing patient care, cooperation, ability, and integrity to get the job done.

UCSD Medical Center
Chief Anesthesiologist

Terri is knowledgeable and effective in pharmacy leadership. She has the ability to be able to anticipate and prepare for the future. Her ability to utilize resources effectively in this changing environment is a strong asset. She can adapt, evolve, mentor and still never say “no” when asked to assist. She exhibits great abilities to be flexible and is a “self starter”. She has a pleasant yet effective demeanor that commands results.

Candace Fong, Pharm D
System Director of Pharmacy and Medication Safety Common Spirit Health

Terri has always impressed me as being very smart. resourceful, creative, and easy to work with. Terri’s commitment to medication safety permeated our organization, raising the awareness of this important issue throughout all levels of the institution. Terri has always been engaged, cooperative, and generous with her time.

Cary Mells, MD
Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine Tri-City Medical Center

Terri has done more for the Pharmacy in her few months as Interim Pharmacy Director than any other Director has done during my 12 years here.

Anita Kennedy, MBA
VP of Ancillary Services Methodist Hospital

Contact Us

Address: 950 Boardwalk Suite 305, San Marcos, CA 92078

  • 760.705.4078
  • tvidals@rxpert.solutions