Inventory control, analytics aim to help stem drug diversion

Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center is among several provider organizations working to expand drug diversion programs.

The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, which awarded a $1,000,000 grant to the vendor.

At Piedmont, the project is tracking and identifying drug diversion across nursing and pharmacy departments, as several studies have found that about 10 percent of clinicians divert drugs in their workplace, either for personal use or to sell.

Piedmont is working with Invistics, an inventory visibility software vendor. To identify and deter diversions, Invistics aggregates and analyses data from across its hospital client systems that includes medical records, employee time clocks, wholesale purchasing, inventory and dispensing cabinets to identify employees who are diverting or otherwise acting in a suspicious manner.

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Drug diversion is a real threat to hospitals and difficult to identify and prevent, impacting the ability to provide the highest level of care, says Tom Knight, founder and CEO at Invistics. “With the support of NIH and our hospital partners, we hope providers can proactively prevent drug diversion, something that simply isn’t possible with manual processes and investigation.”

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A 500-bed hospital can have as many as 75 people diverting medication at any given time. Yet, a recent Porter Research survey disclosed that two-thirds of hospital respondents believe their programs to curb diversions are not effective.

Piedmont Hospital is building a strong response to the opioid crisis with a proactive diversion program supported with technology and strategic analytics, says Charles Peck, MD, president and CEO at Piedmont Athens and a board member. “Invistics provides us with unprecedented interdepartmental transparency and strategic analysis,” he adds. “They have certainly helped elevate our program.”

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