Starting in July 2009, when we read reports of the outbreak at Rose Medical Center in Denver, HONOReform became involved in drug diversion prevention. An addicted healthcare worker diverted medication for her own use, refilled syringes with saline and then left them to be administered to patients. Diversion of narcotics is a patient safety issue and it’s an injection safety issue…and so much more.
One of our aims is to encourage colleagues throughout the country to address drug diversion at a national and federal level. We are grateful for the positive response we are receiving. We will provide an update with more specific information in the near future.
Drug diversion is not an uncomplicated problem. It is the space where bureaucracies, including healthcare systems and law enforcement, come together. Oftentimes, a thorough awareness of the problem is lacking—and the necessary and proper procedures are not in place.
We are glad to share this 17-minute podcast, a clear description of the problem and some of the solutions, on our blog this week. Kimberly New, JD RN, of Diversion Specialists, who is one of the leading voices of drug diversion prevention and a close colleague of HONOReform, talks with Dr. Howard Zucker, MD JD, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health.
In this interview, Kim New says, “We need to identify problems quickly and protect patients from potential harm.” We could not agree more. Thank you, Kim and Dr. Zucker, for coming together to address the problem, and thanks to our colleagues at the New York Health Department for encouraging and organizing this conversation.