Drug diversion prevention
Hospitals, health care providers, state government and law enforcement have
joined together to create a set of best practices that hospitals and health
care facilities can use to enhance security for controlled substances,
including narcotics and other powerful prescription medications. The Drug
Enforcement Agency requires hospitals and other health care facilities to
report the theft or loss of controlled substances.
A broad-based stakeholder coalition convened by MHA and the Minnesota
Department of Health (MDH) created a road map and toolkit to improve health
care providers’ controlled substance storage and security, procurement,
prescribing, preparation and dispensing.
The road map is a collection of best practices for preventing and responding
to controlled substance diversions. It includes training materials, sample
policies and procedures, and a flow chart of reporting guidelines and
requirements that providers can use when they suspect a drug diversion has
occurred. Examples include camera surveillance in high-risk areas, keeping
prescription notepads in locked locations, implementing a clearly defined
process for controlling and accounting for keys, rules against sharing
passcodes, utilizing bar codes for tracking, deploying secure and locked
delivery carts and using tamper-resistant packaging.