The Birth of Drug Diversion Detection Automation – Part 6

The information I have gained so far has been very insightful. As a result, I am going to pause the specific product reviews on the drug diversion software companies (Protenus, Kit Check’s BlueSight, Omnicell Analytics, Invistics Flowlytics, BD HealthSight, and HelioMetrics) to talk about a trend I have been hearing when speaking to clients versus vendors.  

As with most new technology, there is a period of beta testing. These vendors utilized beta testers and are now in the roll out phase with “true” customers. However, since the industry is so new, the beta testing could be viewed as still happening. There are multiple automated dispensing machines (ADM) and electronic health records (EHR),  different infusion pump systems, various time and attendance systems, not to mention more than one way to configure the connection between the ADM and EHR, plus everything in between. Every new account is a learning lesson. These early adopters are paving the way for the rest of the facilities. They are the pioneers working out the bugs, requesting development of new types of reports, and providing feedback to the vendors on what works and what doesn’t. Their feedback is perfecting the mapping, the sensitivity scales, closing the gaps, and doing a lot of work on the back end. 

The vendors state they have the capability to do certain things. Theoretically they do, but does that translate to full implementation for every customer? In Part 4, I mentioned a client who, after three years, now has some hope regarding using HelioMetrics to pull data from the OR. In Part 5, I talked about a hospital that has not been able to get BlueSight live on the nursing units after over two years. And yet, both of these vendors have been successful in the OR and nursing units for other facilities. They continue to learn with each implementation. 

What does this mean for you? Each facility needs to recognize the software solutions have a lot to offer, and once it’s correctly mapped and fully validated, the machine learning will be of significant value for drug diversion detection. However, how smoothly the implementation goes will depend on how you and the vendor manage your project in terms of timelines and qualified personnel. A strong recommendation is that the facility have an IT resource lead who understands pharmacy systems thoroughly. The stronger their IT skills and pharmacy knowledge are, the more likelihood of them asking the right questions and delivering the correct information to the vendor. Go in with eyes wide open regarding the work needed to get to the point where you are confident in the completeness and accuracy of the data. 

A shout out to all you trailblazers out there – thank you for dedicating your time and resources to validating and working with vendors to give the rest of us a head start!

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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