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September 23, 2021

Best Practices for Early Detection and Planning – Using Data and Analytics to Prevent Diversion

Joy Somogyi
Senior Director, Product Marketing, Intelligence Solutions

In the medical profession, one in ten healthcare workers will abuse controlled substances due to access and availability at work.1 Health system pharmacy leaders are borrowing data analytics-based best practices from the business world to tackle drug diversion in the hospital.

Diversion in health systems isn't a question of "if," it's a matter of "when." The time to start your journey to detect and prevent diversion is now. Both Allina Health and TidalHealth established their programs and have established best practices with analytics designed to improve safety for both staff and patients.

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, leaders from Allina Health and TidalHealth will be hosting the CE-accredited session "Best Practices for Early Detection and Planning Using Data and Analytics" during Omnicell Illuminate 2021. JoAnne Myhre, Drug Diversion Program Manager at Allina Health, and John Jordan, Senior Director of Pharmacy Services at TidalHealth, will share insights on how you can start or enhance diversion management at your organization, no matter where you are in your journey.

The downstream effects of diversion can be devastating. Ms. Myhre and Dr. Jordan will share their stories and experience on how diversion compromises patient safety, leading to inaccurate pain medication or therapy, increased infections, and substandard care. Other possible outcomes of diversion are compromised regulatory compliance from incorrect records, which can also cause billing errors.

Allina Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system with one million patients annually, took on the challenges of drug diversion head-on. With their new analytics program, the health system has been able to:

  • Establish guiding principles that include senior leadership buy-in and a multidisciplinary team facilitating the work
  • Use best practices and mitigation strategies to ensure organizational readiness for the diversion program implementation
  • Educate employees on the dangers of drug diversion

TidalHealth, a 266-bed hospital system in Salisbury, Maryland, took on drug diversion across all areas of their organization. To increase visibility and establish real-time investigations, they created an anti-diversion team focused on improving processes within nursing departments as well as anesthesia.

The team found that Pharmacy must lead drug diversion programs by sharing it as a system-level initiative and not managing it in silos. Nursing and anesthesia have a unique role in the chain of custody for controlled substances, so they must be engaged with the diversion program from the very beginning.

According to Dr. Jordan, in order to achieve success, an organization must have a culture of excellence that ensures transparency and consistency in policies and corrects any gaps or loopholes within the drug diversion program.

The risks posed by drug diversion are significant. But leveraging pharmacy data analytics increases the success rate of tackling the problem at a systemwide level.

Join us on Tuesday, Oct. 5 to learn how to tackle diversion by leveraging analytics across your health system. Register today.

  1. Baldisseri, M.R. (2013). Impaired healthcare professional. Critical Care Medicine, 35(2 Suppl), S106-S116.