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Prevention of Controlled Substance Diversion in High Use Areas

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As a pharmacist, I have always been an advocate for partnering with Nursing in helping to prevent Drug Diversion within hospitals and clinics.  While Pharmacists are considered to be drug experts and are highly skilled in managing and tracking drug inventories, it is the mainly the nurse who is charged with administration of controlled substances in a hospital setting. In situations where theft or misuse is suspected on Nursing units, nurses play a key role in helping to identify this activity as they may be aware of other indicators of diversion, such as behavioral issues or odd work patterns of a coworker under suspicion.

The Oncology Nurse Society has published a piece in their current newsletter that I wrote on preventing Drug Diversion in areas where controlled substances are used frequently. The use of controlled substances is common in cancer patients and in recovery rooms for post-surgical patients. It is my hope that this article will help bring awareness of strategies that can be used help prevent the occurrence of diversion on Nursing units.

Preventing Drug Diversion of Controlled Substances: Strategies for Patient Care Areas with High Usage