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Children’s Hospitals Face Unique Challenges When It Comes to Drug Diversion.

Recently, the Bluesight Community hosted a panel of pharmacy leaders from children’s hospitals to discuss the unique challenges they face when it comes to drug diversion.


A major obstacle children’s hospitals are facing are the specific medication challenges when it comes to working with pediatric patients. Compared to a standard patient, pediatric patients will require medications differently due to their distinctive care needs. 


Differences include, but are not limited to the wide variety of substance mass dispensed, greater potential to waste medications and the increased number of patient specific compounded products that come with treating pediatric patients. 


These variables are often challenging especially when it comes to auditing, as pediatric doses can lead to more decimal point errors due to more custom doses and unaccounted for waste. 


Wide range of ages in patients also pose another challenge, “ in our OR we may see patients aged from a few days old to 21 years old” , said Nicole Arduser, CphT, from Dayton Children’s Hospital. 


Debra (Debbie) Barlow, CphT, of Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters said some of the challenges their hospital faces is their high NICU population often requires standardized concentrations of IV drips, some small as 0.1 ML of Morphine. “ We see patients as small as 40gm”, which offers a unique challenge in auditing.  


Pediatric patients also serve a unique risk to diversion, a study at the Children’s Hospital Colorado, found adolescents and young adults are at risk for substance use. Adolescents with legally prescribed medications may feel pressure to divert those medications to someone else. 


Diversion of medications by patients is still underreported and serves as an even greater risk to patient safety.


Since engaging nursing managers with ControlCheck™ , Debbie says she’s seen variances go down, “before I would 10 or 20 so a week, some of which would be old events…now we see maybe 1 a week”. The ability to see and resolve variances in real-time has made the process easier and more efficient than before, old events were often harder to resolve due to staff forgetting what events transpired.


These hospitals often serve the most vulnerable of patients, which is why a thorough drug monitoring program is critical. ControlCheck helps bring item-level visibility into a hospital’s controlled substance inventory and highlights activity that may pose a risk for diversion, so patients can receive the exemplary care they deserve. 


ControlCheck offers more than just a software but a community. Share your experience among a nationwide community, together we can better address and close diversion gaps. To learn more about our community, visit