What to do when drug diversion is suspected — 4 key steps

Healthcare organizations struggle to identify drug diversion because perpetrators often know how to hide the evidence, according to Tom Knight, chairman of the Healthcare Diversion Network.

HDN is a nonprofit working to educate medical providers on how to handle drug diversion in their facilities.

Mr. Knight told Becker's ASC Review what providers can do when they suspect drug diversion is happening within their facility:

1. Report the incident. If an employee thinks a colleague is diverting drugs, the incident should be reported to the colleague's supervisor or a drug diversion team.

2. Know the details. Employees who report potential drug diversion "should be prepared to describe the incident and the employee's behavior in as much detail as possible and provide all evidence available to support the potential investigation," Mr. Knight said.

3. Investigate. Possible incidents of drug diversion should be investigated by a supervisor or other appropriate leaders within the organization. They should follow all policies and procedures for handling reports of drug diversion.

4. Inform authorities. Any healthcare organization that confirms drug diversion is occurring should report it to law enforcement and regulatory agencies. "This may include the DEA, local law enforcement, the appropriate professional licensure board such as the state Board of Nursing, and a national database like HealthcareDiversion.org," Mr. Knight said.

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