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Looking for the Smoking Gun?

Rxpert Solutions > Blogs > Looking for the Smoking Gun?

Every now and then when performing a diversion investigation, you will find the smoking gun. One that is so hot you don’t need the healthcare worker to admit to diversion in order to be 100% convinced they are diverting. However, 99.9% of the time, you will not find that smoking gun early on. And by the time you do, it’s too late. It is in the form of harm to someone else, the healthcare worker themselves, or a patient.

The person who has a substance abuse problem lives and breathes their addiction every day. They are constantly 10 steps ahead of you, the investigator, who has other responsibilities at work. Although you may feel you dedicate hours to a single case, and you have, it is nothing compared to the hours the diverter spends thinking about how to divert and how to keep you guessing. So how should you proceed if there is no smoking gun? First, if the data tells you something is not right, then something probably isn’t. Second, if there are any, absolutely any, questionable performance or behavioral issues, then take that into consideration. This assessment requires one to be unbiased, ask the right questions and often it is the investigator who recognizes the issue rather than the employee’s manager. Third, if it is not sitting right with your gut, listen to it.  Most especially if you have some years of experience under your belt. This feeling at the gut level will take the data, the behavioral/performance aspect and their response during the interview into consideration. If all this comes together giving you concern but there is no admission, the right answer may be to report them to their licensing agency and let the licensing body address the matter. They may already have a complaint on file from a previous employer or be aware of a matter involving law enforcement and your complaint is just what was needed to prove a case. It may be their smoking gun.

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

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

  • 760.705.4078
  • tvidals@rxpert.solutions