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The epidemic of controlled substance diversion related to healthcare professionals

Pontore, Katelyn (2015) The epidemic of controlled substance diversion related to healthcare professionals. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Purpose: Controlled substance diversion does not discriminate and is detrimental to healthcare facilities and professionals alike. The problems identified in literature today are significant public health concerns being investigated at hospitals across the country to improve controlled substance surveillance and develop proactive diversion prevention programs. Diversion is not a victimless crime. The primary goal of investigating controlled substance diversion is improving public health, patient safety, and preventing substandard care. Secondary goals are preventing and mitigating risks of the other components related to diversion such as the safety of health care worker, the environment, and the employer. Methods: Current controlled substance practices will be investigated at a 631 bed tertiary care hospital and evaluated by direct observation, audits, and reporting. Implementation of process and work flow enhancement will occur after initial investigation of the current situation. A retrospective review of the controlled substance discrepancies will be audited for resolution. A discrepancy is an event in which the physical count of controlled substances is more or less than expected. The following data will be collected and assessed on a prospective basis for a 6 month period: discrepancies not resolved within 24 hours by nursing unit, and total discrepancies by nursing unit. All data will de-identified to maintain confidentiality. Results: Following the initial intervention in April, the number of discrepancies not resolved within 24 hours fell from 144 to 66 (54.2% decrease) and total discrepancies from 242 to 172 (28.9% decrease). The streamlined controlled substance discrepancy surveillance implementation will assist in detection and prevention of diversion. Conclusion: It is anticipated that this project will demonstrate the need for an interdisciplinary approach to prevention of controlled substance diversion and medication safety at healthcare facilities. The complexity and time intensive nature of controlled substance diversion identification, auditing, monitoring, education, and investigation will require a diverse team of healthcare professionals.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pontore, Katelyn
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFinegold, David Ndnf@pitt.eduDNFUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberDonohue, Julie Mjdonohue@pitt.eduJDONOHUEUNSPECIFIED
Date: 2015
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 19 May 2016 21:06
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 11:56


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