Part II: Reducing the Risk and Infection Outbreaks from Drug Diversion


Drug diversion is a serious problem that affects patients’ and health professionals’ safety. Patients may suffer from suboptimal therapy if their medications were diverted, receive substandard care from impaired healthcare workers, or be at risk for adverse drug reactions or blood stream infections if they are provided with medications they should not receive or adulterated products in place of the intended therapy.

One challenge for health facilities is the requirement to secure and dispose of controlled substance waste every day, some of which require specific handling and protocols for safety. Healthcare organizations that use controlled substances must maintain detailed records and require drug disposal to be witnessed. Part II will look at drug diversion through the lens of a risk manager and their role to reduce risk in hospitals and healthcare facilities as well as the impact of diversion on infection outbreaks from the lens of an infection control preventionist.

Intended Audience:

  • Medication Safety and Patient Safety Officers

  • Risk Management and Quality Managers

  • Medication Safety Committees

  • Nurses

  • Pharmacists

  • Pharmacy Technicians

  • Physicians

Learning Objectives:

Following completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize the impact of diversion in healthcare and its role in risk of medication use.

  2. Discuss interventions designed to detect, investigate and prevent diversion in a variety of settings.

  3. Explain the relationship between medication diversion and possible infection outbreaks.   


Katherine Du Fresne, RN, MSN, CPHRM, Executive Director, Clinical Risk Management, Indiana University Health

James Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, HEM, CIC, FAPIC, Manager, Infection Prevention and Control Services, ECRI



This activity is supported by Fresenius Kabi.

CE Accreditation

No continuing education credits are available for this activity. 


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