Sep 12, 2023

Substance use disorder has far-reaching impacts across society, and healthcare workers are not immune. In some cases, healthcare worker addiction can lead them to use prescription drugs intended for patients or steal them to be sold for personal benefit. A recent survey sponsored by Invistics, acquired by Wolters Kluwer Health earlier this year, found that despite 98% of healthcare executives agreeing that drug diversion occurs in hospitals, nearly four in five healthcare executives surveyed (79%) believe that most drug diversion goes undetected.

The International Health Facility Diversion Association estimates that at least 37,000 diversion incidents occur in U.S. facilities each year, and this number is likely underreported.1  According to the Wolters Kluwer Invistics survey, “The State of Drug Diversion 2023 Report,” only 40% of executives are very confident in the efficacy of their drug diversion detection programs, with a majority (67%) of executives planning to strengthen their drug diversion efforts in 2023.

Improving inconsistent drug diversion processes

Drug diversion detection has historically been a manual and time intensive process, with 71% of respondents reporting that their team spends eight or more hours on each investigation. Hospitals and ambulatory settings also struggle with consistency when it comes to managing detection programs. When questioned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their drug diversion programs, 69% of respondents pointed to the increased presence of floating staff or contract workers as the primary factor that made drug diversion detection more challenging.

“With staff shortages and use of contract workers at an all-time high, hospitals may see inconsistency in their drug diversion detection efforts,” said Karen Kobelski, Vice President and General Manager of Clinical Surveillance Compliance & Data Solutions, Wolters Kluwer, Health. “Given the risks to patient safety and clinical teams, as well as the potential reputational and financial impact on the hospital itself, hospital leadership should consider how sophisticated technology can keep these programs running smoothly. As one of our respondents commented, ‘If you do not have any drug diversion, then you are not looking hard enough.’

Artificial intelligence (AI) represents a significant opportunity to improve drug diversion detection efforts across a hospital or health system. By monitoring patterns in data over time and across multiple hospital systems, programs incorporating advanced technologies can support increased hospital detection of diversion and improved patient safety.

Embracing AI for drug diversion detection

Recognizing the significant benefits of AI in diversion detection, more organizations have taken the next step forward in leveraging the latest cutting-edge technology to tackle their institutions’ diversion detection gaps. Since the initial survey in 2019, hospitals that report using machine learning to detect patterns of diversion and automatically flag potential cases have nearly doubled (29% to 56%). These facilities are also more confident in their drug diversion programs, with more than half of executives who use AI tools (53%) reporting they are very confident in the efficacy of their diversion detection efforts.

“Hospitals don’t always have the staff to dedicate to an ongoing diversion detection program as they balance more acute patient needs. AI-powered tools continually running in the background enable healthcare providers and leaders to feel more confident they are able to keep their patients and staff safe from diversion,” Ms. Kobelski continued. “AI-based diversion detection programs can do the hard work of sifting through mountains of data to find suspect cases so resource-strapped hospitals can run an effective program and ensure diversion is detected.”


Sutter Health
Sep 13, 2023

In 2019, Sutter Coast Hospital's compounding pharmacy in Crescent City, California, came under scrutiny by the California State Board of Pharmacy, resulting in a recent imposition of a three-year probation. This development followed a routine inspection conducted in January 2019, during which a board investigator identified what were described as "major deficiencies" concerning staff training and knowledge in the field of compounding pharmaceuticals.

Crohn's Disease
Sep 12, 2023

CHICAGO, IL - AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) today announced top-line results from the Phase 3 SEQUENCE clinical trial evaluating risankizumab (SKYRIZI®, 600 mg intravenous [IV] induction at week 0, 4 and 8 and 360 mg subcutaneous injection [SC] starting at week 12 and every 8 weeks thereafter) versus ustekinumab (STELARA®, IV dose at week 0

Surfacide St. Bernard Hospital donation
Sep 12, 2023

Chicago, IL– Today, representatives from Surfacide announced an in-kind donation of their industry-leading infection prevention technology to St. Bernard Hospital to help the safety net hospital maintain its high standards for patient safety.

Just as the hospital kicks-off special activities for Environmental Services Week, Surfacide will donate their Helios® Disinfection system – a trio of light-emitting robots that significantly reduce microorganisms on colonized hard surfaces using chemical-free UV-C energy.

Sep 19, 2023

Those of us who have been in healthcare for a long time have seen changes come and go at a breakneck pace. Regulations, practice, lean into clinical, defer to the physician, multidisciplinary practice, silo mentality, more tech, less tech…yada yada yada. With so much energy spent attending to putting out fires every day, I have found it is easy to lose sight of the person behind the profession.

School taught us the Krebs cycle and anatomy. We learned the “lock and key” theory as drugs do their thing. We spent hours memorizing every written word and nugget of wisdom from our professors. As I now have a lifetime of experience in this chosen profession of ours, I find that the most valuable lessons are the ones life has taught me and unlike the tenets of practice back and forth, these lessons hold true throughout. Secret weapon: the intangibles. Here I share a few thoughts on pharmacy leadership that I have gathered over years of being in the trenches at every level.

Find your value and lean into it. You know how to do the job, but do you know how to lean into your strengths? The things that make you a good leader also make you a good follower. Managing goes both up and down. Learn from everyone around you, and then take that and create your strongest path. Tell a joke in a tense situation. Offer a creative idea from the cheap seats. This will be hit and miss, but you don’t know if you don’t try. Find your best voice and sing from the rooftops.

Learn your surroundings and adapt to how the organization works. No matter how good you are, how smart you are, how high your GPA was, none of that matters if you can’t operationalize your big brain so be sure to read the room. This includes the people you are working with which can be hit and miss. I offer this: taking a swing and missing at times, and knowing when to make a change, is as important as sticking with it at all costs. You may lose a little of yourself if you don’t take time to identify the moment. Learn the “politics” of your organization and work within that framework to show the immense power of what you bring, and how pharmacy can be transformative to an organization.

Think of things you can do to make strides. Real strides, things that propel you and your practice forward in a different way. Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you”. This will get you noticed for all the right reasons.

You can’t do it alone. None of us does it alone. We may think we do, but if you dig a little deeper you will realize that whatever success you have or wish to have does not happen in a vacuum. Think about key turning points in your professional life and there will always be someone or something that helped you get there. Never forget that and remember to pay it forward. Maybe take that call you would normally screen. Set that meeting that you think you don’t need. I have always said that you never know whose hand you will eventually shake, be open to it.

Of course, we should be talking about Specialty, 340B, staffing, budgets, etc., but we should also talk about and share how we take our profession to new heights outside of the daily grind and look a little deeper at our success as highly trained professionals in a rapidly changing world.

Flu Season
Sep 18, 2023

PharmEcology® is the exclusive company that can provide your organization with specialized solutions for USP 800 Assessment of Risk requirements and pharmaceutical waste management programs.

Personalized medicine and genetic testing
Sep 12, 2023

The University of Florida (UF) Health Precision Medicine Program (PMP) launched in 2012 with an initial focus on pharmacogenetic testing. The first gene-drug pair implemented into practice was CYP2C19-clopidogrel in the setting of percutaneous coronary intervention. Since then, the program has expanded to support implementation of the following gene-drug pairs: TPMT/NUDT15-thiopurines, CYP2D6/CYP2C19-antidepressants, CYP2D6-opioids, CYP2C19-proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and CYP2C9-nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs.

340B Drug Pricing
Sep 07, 2023

The federal 340B Drug Pricing Program, created in 1992, allows qualifying hospitals and clinics that treat low-income and uninsured patients to buy outpatient prescription drugs at a discount.  It  has been a critical program for many hospitals and health systems, providing significant savings and the ability to offset a fraction of their uncompensated care.


Executive Insights
Sep 19, 2023

Huntsville Hospital Health System Executive Director of System Pharmacy Services, Michael McDaniel, sat down with Pharmacy Angle at the Health Connect Partners Conference in Indianapolis to discuss his current role and the path that lead him there, and changes he's witnessed throughout his career in the operations and role of the hospital pharmacy. Michael also talks about the importance of data & benchmarking, technology that creates efficiencies and best practices, staffing challenges, and tends within the industry he's most optimistic about. 

Sep 12, 2023

Amir Emamifar, PharmD, MBA serves as the moderator for this panel discussion on "Transforming Pharmacy with Central Services Center." The panelist include Nilesh Desai, Chief Pharmacy Officer for Baptist Health System and Richard Montgomery, Director of Pharmacy Contracts & Sourcing with Adventist Health System.

Executive Insights
Sep 06, 2023

Indiana University Health Director of Pharmacy - System Operations & Logistics, Jon Brown, MHA, DPLA, sat down with Pharmacy Angle to discuss his current role and the path that lead him there, current projects he and his team at IU are working on along with the lessons learned, and industry trends and challenges including how AI might impact the workforce and industry as a whole.  

Partner Voice
Sep 05, 2023

Health Connect Partners' CEO, David Mason along with Partner & Chief Sales Officer, Jason Green discuss the vision and opportunities for HCP's newest endeavor, a digital hub and resource for hospital pharmacy professionals - Pharmacy Angle.