The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.


Survey tip—Resources for preventing the diversion of controlled substances

Doug Beardsley
By Doug Beardsley  |  August 23, 2019  |  All providers

Over 100 skilled nursing facilities/nursing facilities (SNFs/NFs) were represented last week at a half-day Preventing Diversion of Controlled Substances in Long-Term Care workshop. The workshop was one of the deliverables from a civil monetary penalty (CMP) funded project designed to make available a pathway and tools for providers to prevent diversion. The CMP project was initially proposed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the consulting company Apiari was assigned the task to complete the project.

Because the project was funded with CMP funds, the focus was 100% on SNFs/NFs in Minnesota. However, the information and tools made available at the program are fully applicable to home care and assisted living settings. The free tools resulting from this project are based on a pathway which identifies interventions to improve facility processes in each stage of the controlled substance life cycle:
  • Prescribing and dispensing
  • Procurement and delivery
  • Storage and security
  • Preparation and administration
  • Documentation
  • Destruction and waste

The pathway document can be viewed and downloaded here. The pathway includes core recommendations and advanced recommendations for each stage, as well as references to toolkit resources. Identified Pathway toolkit resources can be viewed and downloaded free from the Apiari website. Resources include guidance into hiring practices, recommended employee education, equipment assistance, sample letters, and a template for investigation into potential diversion events.

The pathway and resources are based on Minnesota specific examples of past drug diversions, literature research, and emerging best practices. Care Providers of Minnesota assisted Apiari throughout the process as part of a collaborative team of stakeholders.

These are a tremendous free resource for providers interested in decreasing the opportunities for drug diversion from their facility. The pathway is intended to help leaders increase their awareness of the issue, systematically assess their facilities and processes, and create an individualized plan to implement interventions that will mitigate vulnerabilities and improve care within their context and facility culture. Once a facility has identified their direction, they can implement interventions using their internal QAPI structure or quality management process for roll-out, monitoring implementation, and measuring outcomes.

As part of the CMP project, Apiari is seeking pilot sites to find out how the pathway and resources have been used and to provide feedback or suggestions regarding tools or improvements. If you are interested, contact Apiari

Providers are strongly encouraged to utilize this pathway and applicable resources to minimize drug diversion and protect the health, safety, and comfort of your residents and clients.

Doug Beardsley  |  Vice President of Member Services  |  |  952-851-2489


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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.

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