A rapid systemic review was conducted to identify prescription drug diversion and the prevalence of drug diversion among nurses, physicians, and pharmacists in hospitals within the United States to better understand how and why this diversion is taking place. Given their accessibility to prescription medications, healthcare workers use drug diversion as a source to feed into their own personal substance use disorders. Drug diversion has led to patient harm, including the transfer of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis C, bacterial infections, such as, Ochrobactrum anthropic, Achrombacter xylosoxidans, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, patient overdose, and even patient death. Methods that have been identified as sources of drug diversion include withdrawing medication from patient-specific drips, replacing withdrawn drug with a different diluent, such as normal saline or sterile water, replacing stolen drug with a look-alike medication, falsifying medication waste or disposal, taking patient’s own personal medications, and withholding medication from patient completely for personal use.
Mauro, Marissa M., "Drug Diversion in Healthcare Workers and Effects on Patients" (2022). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 425.