Health-care workers that steal medications from their patients are a threat to medical care, a survey has concluded. Drug rooms, a medication cart may be unlocked and unattended; this can lead to medications being diverted from large containers or waste bins, as numerous drugs end up in waste bins, later to be destroyed.
The survey concluded that culprits count on loose security and lack of monitoring. Canada’s terrifying serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer who made waves all over the media, killed all her eight victims using the insulin that has not been tallied and sat in medication room refrigerators.
According to the inquiry head researcher, Beatrice Crofts Yorker, a professor at California State University Los Angeles, using diverted drugs to kill patients is the most used tactic of health-care serial killers.
Ever since 1970, a total of 90 health-care serial killers have been accused and convicted of killing at least 450 patients. However, the number of suspicious deaths linked to health-care workers passes 2,600.
Technology Could Prevent a Lot of Mischief in Health-Care Homes
Last year in Ottawa, there have been found multiple deficiencies in the way medications are stored and destroyed in their long-term health-care homes. The survey was created after the city got complaints regarding its fraud. The inquiry discovered that there was a risk of probable medication diversion from when the drugs are submitted to the care homes, to the storage, administration, and the discharging of unused ones.
Besides, the report found that hand-written drug records were often incomplete or unreadable, making it extremely difficult to track who administered medication to patients.
Technology, usually functioning in hospitals could prevent the medication from being stolen. One of the report’s recommendations was that the government should create a three-year project to fund measures, including automated medication discharging cabinets and barcode-supported medical administration systems, glass doors, and security cameras in medication rooms.
The inquiry explained that technology is making it quite hard to steal drugs. However, technology is rather expensive, comparing it to the commonly used lock-and-key systems. Even so, it is for the best to consider this way to prevent medication diverting and serial killings in health-care homes.