John Burke, the President and Co-Founder of the International Health Facility Diversion Association (IHFDA), wrote a great article detailing his 40 years of law enforcement experience with the current opioid crisis in America. In particular, he states:
When I was with the Cincinnati Police Department and our squad worked full-time on drug diversion issues, we arrested a health care facility employee an average of once a week for stealing medication. This resulted in 50 nurses per year being caught and offered treatment through the courts. Most of these individuals successfully completed the treatment programs and had their criminal records wiped clean. A sizable number were able to continue their nursing profession and reclaim their lives.
I got tired of the media’s asking me how big the problem was in the country, especially because there was a lack of reporting. So I used 9 years’ worth of statistics, and considering Cincinnati’s population, it came out to 102 of these cases per day. But nowhere near that number is addressed annually. It is not because they are not discovered; rather, facilities choose to either allow the people to quit or fire them. This violates regulatory and often criminal mandates to report these offenses.
Of course, some of these health professionals move on to other facilities and continue to struggle with addiction without getting help and in turn endanger patients. Some of the same health care facilities that have failed to report the offenses can also become victims of this practice when they unknowingly hire someone from another facility who also left because of an addiction incident that was not properly addressed.
John’s belief that most individuals caught early in the drug addiction cycle can reclaim their career and lives is something we share at Invistics. We believe The best way to combat drug diversion is to catch diversion early, before addiction can spiral out of control and endanger the Healthcare Worker and the patients under their care. We designed the Flowlytics Drug Monitoring and Diversion Detection system to highlight non-compliant and suspicious healthcare transactions as soon as they occur, as early as day 1 of diversion.