Trifecta Risk

Risk from drug diversion has three main prongs:  patient risk, staff risk, and facility risk. This article highlights the staff and facility risk.  It talks about two nurses who were found dead on hospital property due to an overdose.  That is as clear as we can get when it comes to staff risk.

The article also mentions two other hospitals that have received hefty financial penalties, in the millions, as a result of not properly tracking controlled substances. This is where the facility risk comes in. 

There is no mention of specific patient risk, but based on the time between the deaths of two nurses (roughly 1.5 years), the multiple reports of missing drugs the facility has filed with the DEA post inspection, and the fact the facility reportedly stated “it had not previously realized the drugs were missing”, I think it would be safe to assume patient care was compromised from a safety perspective. 

This is serious business folks.  If you do not have a real drug diversion monitoring program, you are not doing what you need to do to keep your patients, staff and hospital safe. I say “real” because there are facilities out there that have a program in place that is ineffective, but it checks the box that says “monitors for controlled substance diversion”.  This is not a check box topic. This is a real danger. Rxpert Solutions can assist you with a risk assessment and get you on the right path to a comprehensive drug diversion monitoring program, please contact me.

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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