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Doctors Doping: What Can Tech Do?
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
4/22/2014 | 11:35:14 AM
High percentage
It's surprising to me that about 90% of those caught abusing are allowed to return to practice. Maybe if it were a "one strike and you're out of your high-paying job" situation, we wouldn't need to spend as much money and development effort on a high-tech arms race to stop abuse. It's not as if those resources aren't needed elsewhere.

 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/22/2014 | 12:59:48 PM
Re: High percentage
Yes, @Lorna, but healthcare providers' security investments are also protecting drugs from external threats -- not just the very small percentage of healthcare professionals-turned-addicts (or those who steal for an extra buck). Not sure about a one strike and you're out rule although I was surprised that healthcare providers aren't forced to self-report professionals who abuse medication. I'd have hoped there was some notation on their record; after all, an employer should be aware that someone who is allowed to prescribe controlled substances has had a problem with these medications in the past, just so they can keep an extra eye on him/her or choose not to hire them. 
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
4/22/2014 | 4:27:18 PM
Re: High percentage
Dunkin Donuts used a variation of the video surveillance approach to cut theft -- it linked video surveillance to cash registers, so a manager could see certain transactions (like voids and deletes) to see if employees were giving product away. That was several years ago (link below). Given the much higher stakes with high-priced and addictive drugs, it seems like some systems would make economic and safety sense. 

http://www.informationweek.com/it-leadership/20-innovative-it-ideas-to-steal/d/d-id/1100026?page_number=17
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
4/22/2014 | 5:53:45 PM
Addictive pills: Protect 'em like data
Who would have thought it would take this much technology to prevent people from pocketing pills? But this speaks to how painkillers like oxycontin and others have become highly sought-after street drugs. They're addictive and lucrative enough to warrant the video surveillance, bar-coding and robotics designed to safeguard them from thieves inside and outside hospital walls. The fact that they make inventory and distribution of meds more efficient is a bonus.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/23/2014 | 2:35:17 PM
Re: Addictive pills: Protect 'em like data
It also makes sense from a patient security perspective, too. If hospitals carefully monitor and track prescription medications, it's less likely a patient will miss a dose or get a double dose of something, addictive or not. So there is a patient safety aspect and a cost-savings, too. Even though some medications are pretty safe, have no street value, and are unlikely to disappear for any illicit reasons, they can be misplaced and that means hospitals would need to unnecessarily replace them. That can add up. 


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