10 Best-Practice Tips for Controlled Substance Compliance JACK TEITELMAN AND KELLEY DETWEILER, AUTHORS OF THE AAHA GUIDE TO SAFEGUARDING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES During our years in business, our team has conducted close to 500 compliance inspections for veterinary practices throughout the US, and we have a pretty good idea of the keys to maintaining controlled substance compliance. Smart practitioners, in our experience, run their practices and conduct business as if the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could come through their doors at any minute. They incorporate compliance as part of their company’s DNA and create robust processes that can quickly become second nature for practitioners and staff. These companies never operate out of fear, but rather with the confidence that they are working properly and legally, which increases safety and reduces liability. Here are our top 10 best-practice tips for ensuring your controlled substance procedures are fully compliant with DEA regulations and that your practice is operating with confidence and safety.
Know your employees. Don’t get caught off guard by hiring or employing veterinary personnel with a past or current controlled substance issue. By implementing company-wide policies that start with the hiring process, including required background checks on new (and
existing) employees, employee-screening statements, and routine drug testing, you are taking the first step to defend your business. At the end of the day, a bit of time upfront can save you tons of time, money, and heartache down the road—and protect your staff, clients, and patients from costly (or deadly) mistakes. Remember that knowing your employees starts with the hiring process and should continue throughout the employer-employee relationship.
Train your employees. Proper employee training sets the tone for continued success. Effectively training your employees on controlled substance compliance and common drug diversion scams they might see among clients and teammates ranks is hugely important. Aside from truly knowing and vetting the people you hire, the most important thing you can do is to continually train and educate them. Think of it as a fire drill for your practice—a standard, recurring practice to ensure that everyone is prepared in the event of a real “fire.”
Review your systems. How long has it been since you double-checked your controlled substance security systems? Set up a schedule to review security systems, including controlled substance security systems, facility