Healthcare Worker Diversion Prevention Toolkit

Healthcare professionals are not exempt from experiencing a mental health challenge or substance use disorder. In fact, working in a fast-paced, intense environment coupled with responding to traumatic events may increase the likelihood of developing mental health challenges. In some situations, healthcare professionals may have access to controlled substances on the job, creating a situation in which diversion of drugs is a risk.

The Coalition for Model Opioid Practices in Health Systems, a project of the North Carolina Healthcare Association, has created a toolkit with information and best practices to prevent and respond to healthcare worker diversion of controlled substances.

An Introduction to the Coalition for Model Opioid Practices in Health Systems’ Diversion Prevention Toolkit: Webinar – Nov 7, 2018
Slides (PDF)
Recording (YouTube)

To address some of the root causes of drug diversion in the workplace, it is necessary for health systems to focus on employee wellness—including physical health and mental and emotional well-being. The toolkit contains guidance on creating an employee wellness program in the Employee Wellness Best Practice Resources section.

It is important to educate employees on the risk of diversion, how to recognize potential problems, and to whom within the health system to report issues. The section on Diversion Awareness Education for Staff gives examples of how to do this.

Health systems should work to create a strong diversion program structure, with prevention and detection protocols in place. The Diversion Program Structure and Audit Tools section of the toolkit provides useful guidance.

Finally, when diversion is discovered, it must be reported to certain outside entities in a timely manner. The Summary of Diversion Reporting Requirements document explains North Carolina and federal laws regarding mandatory and voluntary reporting of incidents of diversion in health systems.

Case studies will be published shortly. Come back and visit this link soon.

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Acknowledgments: This toolkit was compiled by Evan Frasure of Duke University Health System; Angela Livingood of Pender Memorial Hospital; Laurie Whalin, Lisa Edgerton, and Kathryn Litten of New Hanover Regional Medical Center; and Anna Stein of the NC Division of Public Health, with assistance from other members of the NC Healthcare Association’s Coalition for Model Opioid Practices.

Additional assistance and review was provided by representatives from multiple agencies and organizations, including the NC Medical Board; the NC Board of Pharmacy; the NC Association of Pharmacists; the NC Board of Nursing; the US Drug Enforcement Administration; the NC Department of Justice; the Drug Control Unit of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services; the NC State Bureau of Investigation Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit; the Communicable Disease Branch of the NC Division of Public Health; the NC Division of Health Service Regulation; and the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services.