Nurse Replaces Drugs With Water and Breach Costs Lead to Bankruptcy
Stay on top of physical breaches and drug diversion threats to your healthcare organization with Senseon’s Physical Security Breach Roundup. We bring you the most recent physical data breach and drug diversion announcements each month. If you want to learn more about what you can do to minimize the risk of your facility ending up on this list, we can help.
OCRs breach portal is reporting the following breaches this month:
- Kansas City VA Medical Center submitted a breach on June ,1 that involved paper and/or files and impacted 534 individuals.
- Capital Cardiology Associates reported a breach on June 7, that involved a desktop computer and impacted 1980 individuals.
- Southern Maryland Medical Group also reported a breach that involved a desktop computer incident on June 7, affecting 1400 individuals.
Prosecutors charged a Texas nurse with drug diversion after he was caught stealing 5 vials of the pain reliever, hydromorphone from a Pyxis machine.
Kyle Evans admitted to stealing the drugs, refilling the vials, and gluing lids shut so they would not appear used. Prosecutors suspect Evans, who is HIV positive, of having used the same syringe to inject himself that he used to refill the vials. A consultation with infectious disease experts concluded there was “virtually no risk of exposure to others.” Most notably due to the virus being below detectable levels in the employee’s blood”.
Frank E. Styles recently pleaded guilty to obtaining controlled substances under false pretences. The 62-year- old pharmacist altered prescription records to obtain drugs, changing information on approximately 77 prescriptions. Styles was able to divert an estimated 564 pills and is now awaiting sentencing on August 30.
Kelsey A. Mulvey, formerly a nurse at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, is accused of stealing and diluting narcotics, resulting in infections in several patients.
Prosecutors say Mulvey stole pills and vials of Dilaudid, methadone, and oxycodone over a 5-month period in 2018. She also allegedly replaced the drugs with water, leaving 81 cancer patients not receiving their correct medications. Mulvey was discovered after a co-worker reported seeing needles fall out of her locker. Other witnesses also reported seeing her at the hospital, dressed in scrubs on her days off.
As the opioid epidemic rages on, much of the industry is taking a closer look at factors driving the issue.
Specifically, HIT Consultant highlights the desire of hospital executives to implement technology that’s more effective in identifying drug diversion issues without generating false positives.
The American Medical Collection Agency’s parent company, Retrieval-Masters, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a March breach that exposed the PHI of millions of patients. CEO Russell Fuchs verified that the filing is due to the breach. The breach resulted in Quest and LabCorp notifying almost 20 million patients of the issue.. AMCA racked up over $4 million in expenses and fees since the breach causing them to take a loan of $2.5 million to cover costs.
Breach Clarity is still in its beta stages but hospitals and long term care providers should pay attention. The site, headed up by Jim Van Dyke, CEO of Futurio and 25-year veteran in fraud and identity management, built the platform to give any visitors the ability to research company breaches. Visitors simply enter the organization’s name to find out what information was taken and access the relative risk.
Want to learn more about drug diversion for your hospital? Start here.