October 19, 2022

Session: Proper Tactics to Prepare for a DEA Inspection

By: Bridget Brown

Editor's Note

“Is your OR ready for a DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] inspection?” was the question Dennis Wichern, MBA, partner at Prescription Drug Consulting, asked attendees of this breakout session. As a retired DEA agent, Wichern discussed the ways the DEA has been involved in the medical field, specifically pertaining to prescriptions of controlled substances (CSs) in the midst of an opioid crisis.

Attendees learned what to expect and how to prepare for a DEA inspection. Wichern offered key insights to OR, ambulatory surgery center, and postanesthesia care unit staff when handling CSs in medical facilities, emphasizing important steps needed to avoid any negative government interactions or fines. “It all goes back to recordkeeping and security,” noted Wichern, adding that the most important thing healthcare facilities should remember when handling CSs is to limit access and maintain proper records of the substances.

The presentation included key record-keeping requirements in order to avoid any negative implications during a DEA inspection. Two case studies were also included as an example to show what these negative implications could entail if healthcare facilities did not comply with federal record-keeping regulations or did not maintain proper security measures.

Wichern concluded with a list of strategies and tactics for facilities to keep in mind in order to comply with federal regulations when handling CSs, which included:

  • maintaining recordkeeping and security for CSs
  • limiting access to CSs
  • using the “rule of two” in high-risk situations
  • following best practice guidelines
  • practicing due diligence and maintaining specific policies
  • understanding acute pain risk vs. chronic pain risk.

Look for more OR Manager coverage on compliance with DEA regulations in the February issue.

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