Safety

Drug diversion: Regulatory requirements and best practices

Hospital Safety Insider, December 29, 2016

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Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the new HCPro book, Drug Diversion in Healthcare, by author Kimberly New, BSN, JD, a consultant to healthcare institutions on the subject of drug security and diversion. The book will look at the serious issue of drug diversion in U.S. hospitals and provide a comprehensive guide for safety professionals looking to create and maintain a diversion program in their facility.

In many cases, the expectations of regulatory and accreditation authorities are not explicit in regulations, but come to light in the agreements reached, for example, between the DEA and facilities that make settlements for violations or poor practices. In general, the expectation of DEA and other authorities is that facilities adhere to the best available practices for patient safety and drug security, whether or not those practices are spelled out in published regulations. Consequently, there is no real distinction in terms of DEA expectations between what is required and what is considered best practice. The technology and understanding for dealing with drug diversion is evolving more quickly than regulations can be rewritten, and regulatory agencies expect facilities to keep abreast of the best practices available.

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