Over the past years the nation has become more aware of the opioid crisis. There has been a call for solutions to contest this epidemic that has caused an unprecedented number of deaths due to the misuse and overdosing of controlled substances. To combat the opioid crisis and close the gap in drug diversion, data science has advanced and contributed enormously as an ally for pharmacy and nursing administrators of healthcare organizations large and small.
This is a very complicated space as controls and tracking are often incomplete. Diverters are also quite sophisticated in their behaviors, which sometimes makes it difficult to detect. However, when paired with drug diversion algorithms, machine learning models are able to find additional patterns in large datasets to further enhance results. Medacist Solutions Group is a healthcare analytics company focused on big data with a concentration in drug diversion analytics. Medacist is based in Connecticut and was founded in 1998. Since its inception, Medacist’s core mission has been to establish analytics platforms for healthcare professionals to use to combat potential drug diversion within their organizations. Medacist’s first healthcare analytics offering was RxAuditor, which was created based on a need from inpatient pharmacy leadership within one of the largest teaching hospitals on the east coast. This institution had the foresight to recognize the need for advanced surveillance of the newly adopted Automated Dispensing Systems which they implemented in late 1996.
In 1996, automated dispensing systems were new in the industry allowing healthcare facilities to distribute medication to patients across patient care areas in larger distributed volumes. This technology became the favored method for medication delivery in the industry, and early adopters of these systems soon realized that there was a void in analytics. Pharmacy administrators felt that there was a “false sense of security,” although the medication was secured in a cabinet, who was monitoring the activities? In 1998, Medacist developed RxAuditor to measure, monitor, and manage clinical, economic, and operational metrics and deliver actionable information associated with these ADS. RxAuditor’s primary focus was on drug diversion. This led to the development of a patented algorithm for monitoring and ultimately detecting users who were potentially diverting medication.