Drug diversion refers to a healthcare worker taking prescription drugs meant for patients either to use or sell. A recent survey by Invistics found that despite 98% of healthcare executives agreeing that drug diversion occurs in hospitals, nearly four in five healthcare executives surveyed (79%) believe that most drug diversion goes undetected.

According to the survey, 40% of executives are very confident in the efficacy of their drug diversion detection programs, with a majority (67%) of executives planning to strengthen their drug diversion efforts in 2023.

Drug diversion detection has historically been a manual and time intensive process, with 71% of respondents reporting that their team spends eight or more hours on each investigation. Hospitals and ambulatory settings also struggle with consistency when it comes to managing detection programs. When questioned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their drug diversion programs, 69% of respondents pointed to the increased presence of floating staff or contract workers as the primary factor that made drug diversion detection more challenging.

Since 2019, hospitals that report using machine learning to detect patterns of diversion and automatically flag potential cases have nearly doubled (29% to 56%). These facilities are also more confident in their drug diversion programs, with 53% of executives who use artificial intelligence (AI) tools reporting they are very confident in the efficacy of their diversion detection efforts.

Read the full report here.