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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

Excerpt: Drug Diversion regulatory requirements and best practices

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March 25, 2021

By Kimberly New

Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from the HCPro book Drug Diversion Prevention in Healthcare, Second Edition. For more information and to order, visit https://hcmarketplace.com/drug-diversion-prevention.

Drug diversion in healthcare facilities has been the subject of increasing focus by regulatory authorities in the past several years. In many cases, the expectations of these authorities are not explicit in regulations but come to light in the settlements reached between the Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and facilities where violations or poor practices are identified.

In general, DEA and other authorities expect facilities to adhere to the best available practices for patient safety and drug security, regardless of whether those practices are spelled out in published regulations. Consequently, in terms of expectations by regulatory authorities, there is no real distinction between what is required and what is considered to be best practice. The technology and understanding of how to deal with drug diversion is evolving more quickly than regulations can be rewritten, and facilities are expected to keep abreast of the best practices available.

Most facilities have a core group of stakeholders that recognize the scope of the problem and risks associated with diversion. Unfortunately, regulation does not explicitly mandate that facilities have a diversion program, so it may be difficult for even committed people to gain support for some of the essential processes. When I visit facilities where administrators are resistant to my recommendations, an argument I hear often is, “Just show me the regulations that require it.” They are not usually content with best-practice guidelines.

Drug diversion in healthcare facilities has been the subject of increasing focus by regulatory authorities in the past several years. In many cases, the expectations of these authorities are not explicit in regulations but come to light in the settlements reached between the Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and facilities where violations or poor practices are identified.



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