The news has been inundated with reports of the increasing prevalence of opioid use throughout the country. Dubbed the “opioid crisis,” addiction to controlled substances is no longer a rare occurrence happening behind closed doors—it affects those of all socioeconomic classes and backgrounds. Healthcare workers are not an exception, and many struggling with addiction find themselves in the difficult situation of trying to remain sober while having regular access to controlled substances.
In the past, due to a lack of available tools to reliably track medications, it was common for healthcare workers to remain unnoticed while abusing controlled substances. Claudia Douglas, Administrative Director at Hackensack University Medical Center, remembers a time early in her career working with a physician who freely prescribed pain medications to his patients. It was only after he experienced a fatal overdose in a hospital bathroom that his addiction was discovered. While these instances still occur, many hospitals and health systems have begun implementing programs to actively identify and monitor diversion.
Analytics is a great resource many hospitals use to monitor controlled substances within their health system, and flag suspected diversions in real-time. Hackensack University Medical Center recently opened up about how they are actively monitoring, catching, and preventing drug diversion by using Omnicell Analytics.
Hackensack University Medical Center found that monitoring for diversion was time consuming and tiresome, and often required a wait between 30-60 days for confirmation of a suspected diversion.
“Monitoring and auditing for diversion rapidly devolves into an overwhelming task when technology is not used to support the endeavor,” said Nilesh Desai, BS, RPh, MBA administrator of pharmacy and clinical operations at Hackensack University Medical Center.
In order to fight diversion more proactively, they decided to implement Omnicell Analytics. This software tool gives the health system the ability integrate data points between automated dispensing cabinets and emergency medical records, a solution that provides monitoring capabilities in real-time. Since implementing this analytics tool, Hackensack has experienced a significant decrease in diversion rates throughout their health system.
Collaboration is Key
Throughout the implementation process, Hackensack leaders found that collaboration between all hospital departments was the key to success. In order to maximize results, there must be a facility-wide commitment to ensuring accurate automated dispensing cabinet transactions, along with a commitment to limit diversion opportunities. While pharmacy takes the lead on monitoring diversion in this facility, nursing leadership is also heavily involved—taking an active role in overseeing the dispensing and administration habits of the nurses in their units.
Hopes for the Future
Hackensack hopes to be able to incorporate Omnicell Analytics across their facility, utilizing it in their operating rooms and clean rooms. In addition, they see the value of integrating wholesaler data into the system, giving them the capability to track controlled substances throughout the entire life cycle. Hackensack remains committed to diversion prevention and monitoring throughout their health system—providing an exemplary case study of how facilities can proactively address and fight this growing issue.
Are you interested in learning more about drug diversion, and how to combat this problem at your facility? Learn more about Omnicell’s analytics solutions and find educational resources at Diversion Central.