A strategy to prevent substance abuse in an academic anesthesiology department

Department of General Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology Institute, E-30, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.
Journal of clinical anesthesia (Impact Factor: 1.19). 03/2010; 22(2):143-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2008.12.030
Source: PubMed


Substance abuse is the most serious occupational safety issue associated with the practice of anesthesiology, with an incidence as high as 1% per year of training. The Cleveland Clinic's Anesthesiology Institute approached the process from the perspective of active prevention, including specific mandatory education programs for all department personnel on a recurring basis, strengthened procedures for the detection and prevention of diversion of controlled substances, enhanced skill building for detection of impairment, and implemented a multi-faceted drug testing program, including random and "for cause" urine screens, for prevention and early detection of abused anesthetic drugs and other substances of abuse. After 18 months of preparation, a Substance Abuse Prevention Protocol was created, which has been fully implemented as of September 1, 2007.

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