Research

Drug Diversion: Health Care's Hidden Substance Use Problem

    drug diversion

    The opioid crisis continues to sweep through the U.S., with an average of 115 Americans dying each day from an opioid overdose. In response, health systems have scrambled to modify prescribing protocols and add new safeguards to prevent more individuals from developing substance use disorders, while also increasing access to treatment for overdose and addiction.

    However, in the rush to support their patients and communities, hospitals and health systems have often overlooked a corollary right in front of them: drug diversion.

    Diversion by health system staff and clinicians places the health system, its employees, and patients at risk of serious harm. Possible consequences include: staff or patient deaths, patient infections resulting from drug tampering, financial penalties for inadequate oversight, and damage to the organization's reputation.

    This research report outlines 12 tactics to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems' drug diversion management programs.

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