The Diversion of Drugs Within Healthcare Needs to be Addressed

$183M Lost Due to Healthcare Workforce Diverting Drugs From Patient Care in 2019

The Protenus Drug Diversion Digest found that over half of diversion incidents took place in a hospital, medical center, or physician practice setting

BALTIMORE, Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Protenus, a healthcare compliance analytics platform that detects anomalous behavior in our nation’s health systems, announced new research about the effects of drug diversion on healthcare organizations, providers, and patients. With this information, organizations can understand how to prevent diversion, while identifying and supporting workforce members with substance abuse disorders and protecting patients from harm.

The 2020 Drug Diversion Digest is the only report of its kind to compile and analyze publicly available data on clinical drug diversion incidents involving healthcare workers. As found in the report, the average fine to diverters in 2019 was $575,000.

Drug diversion is the transfer of a controlled substance from a lawful to an unlawful channel of distribution or use. Examples of this include a nurse stealing pills from a nursing home or a physician writing fraudulent prescriptions. In especially contemptible cases, clinicians have tampered with syringes that contain controlled substances for their own use, potentially exposing patients to infectious disease or failing to adequately treat their pain.

When comparing 2019 data to that of 2018, the number of reported incidents decreased by almost 36%. However, there was a 215% increase in total doses lost, from 47M in 2018 to 148M in 2019.  

“This data is just the tip of the iceberg in understanding the full scope of drug diversion in healthcare. With current methods of drug diversion monitoring, pharmacy or compliance teams are only able to react to incidents that are brought to their attention, often after a devastating event has occurred,” said Nick Culbertson, Co-founder and CEO of Protenus. “The technology now exists with healthcare compliance analytics to enable health systems to detect early warning signs of possible diversion and prevent future incidents from occurring, reducing risk across the organization and protecting patients and workforce members from potential harm.” 

To download the 2020 Drug Diversion Digest, please visit: Protenus

About Protenus

Protenus uses AI to reduce risk and save resources for the nation’s leading health systems, detecting and preventing compliance violations such as breaches to patient privacy and incidents of clinical drug diversion. Compliance analytics provide healthcare leaders full insight into how health data is being used and alerts privacy, pharmacy, and compliance teams to inappropriate activity. Protenus helps our partner hospitals make decisions about how to better protect their data, their patients, and their institutions. This year, Protenus was named the 2020 KLAS Category Leader in Patient Privacy Monitoring, one of Forbes’ Best Startup Employers in 2020, and one of The Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare. Learn more at

Media Contact:Kira Caban

SOURCE Protenus


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