Diversion threatens patient safety and a hospital's reputation. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, approximately 15% of healthcare workers struggle with drug dependence at some point in their careers. Drug diversion among healthcare workers is substantially underestimated, undetected, and underreported.
And if diversion hasn’t wreaked enough havoc, healthcare professionals have endured upheaval like never before because of an unprecedented pandemic. Hospitals were already dealing with rising stress levels, burnout, and staff shortages, which can exacerbate drug diversion.
Diversion poses risks to patients, including inadequate pain relief and exposure to infectious diseases from contaminated needles and drugs. A healthcare worker’s impaired state also creates an unsafe environment.
However, solutions and strategies exist to combat it, and hospitals are winning the battle. A pharmacy executive, chief nurse officer, and drug diversion analyst share insights on the state of drug diversion and the tools to detect it.