Minnesota Hospital Association

Quality & Patient Safety

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.  

Drug diversion prevention toolkit

Sample policies and procedures

State and federal resources