When I was in training to become an IV therapist, I testified in a hospital hearing against a class mate who took me home for dinner and showed me drawers full of pills, needles and syringes she stole from the hospital. She was expelled from the program, but no criminal charges were filed. Shortly thereafter, she was arrested for palming physician prescription pads and writing prescriptions for controlled substances. Later as an employee at a large (over 1,000 beds) teaching hospital, I witnessed the arrests of two of my co-workers: one for diverting drugs and paraphernalia for street sale; the other for taking injectable painkillers, using them for herself, and substituting saline for the patients’ medications. Medications are better controlled now with inventory management, locked drawers sent down with blister-packed medications, bar coding and magnetic card access. However, a clever thief can find ways around almost any control system.
Topics: allied health, allied health practitioners, American Medical Association (AMA), Health Administration, health care professionals, National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), physicians, Public Health, public health education, Public health management, Sharon B. Buchbinder, Sharon Buchbinder Blog