Quality health care is safe health care; neither patients nor providers should be at risk for acquiring HBV, HCV, or other bloodborne infections during health care encounters. Viral hepatitis stakeholders recognize that such health care-associated infections are an important public health and patient safety issue and are committed to better understanding the causes and further reducing the risk of their occurrence. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed several new resources which focus on protecting patients and workers from health care-associated viral hepatitis—priority area #6 in the updated national Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.
The new CDC web page, as part of CDC’s broader injection safety activities, focuses on the risks of healthcare-associated infections from drug diversion. When prescription medicines are obtained or used illegally, it is called drug diversion. A major driver of drug diversion is addiction to prescription narcotics called opioids which has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. This webpage focuses on diversion involving healthcare providers who misappropriate controlled substances such as opioids for their own use and includes information on outbreaks, prevention resources, enforcement agencies, state health department reports, and select publications.
CDC has also posted a number of blogs about drug diversion in its Safe Healthcare Blog. The CDC found that by ensuring that health care facilities implement strong narcotics security measures and active monitoring systems to prevent and detect diversion activities, the risk of viral hepatitis infections associated with drug diversion can be reduced. Learn how you can help prevent drug diversion and related healthcare-associated infections.