How does your facility handle disposal of controlled substances used in patient care? If it involves pouring them down the sink, you may be vulnerable to institutional drug diversion, which is the stealing of medications — including excess waste — for personal or unauthorized use. Washington Hospital Services Industry Partner Stericyle has made available an article written by Kim New, J.D., BSN, to help our members become more familiar with the problem, the risks it presents to facilities, and resources Stericycle has to help our members develop solutions to this problem. You can read this article here.
This growing problem puts facilities, patients, families and providers at risk, and regulatory bodies are updating disposal guidelines to try and stem the tide of misappropriated drugs. These regulations will impact controlled substances gained from sharps and other wasted containers. (Paul Unsworth)