"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Drug Seekers

The health system is being inundated with drug-seeking patients who are addicted and claiming lots of toothaches and back pain.  Our ED staff do excellent work in this area as this class of patient can be persistent, abusive, desperate, menacing and threatening.  Unfortunately, it spills over to the clinics, practices, the Pain Center and even administration.  In this day and age, it is pretty difficult to get pain meds in any of these settings unless there is serious confirmation of an illness requiring pain meds.  Our number of repeat visitors to the ED continues to grow.  So far, we have been fortunate at WMHS; whenever such situations arise, our Security officers respond and the City Police are called.   Our situation has been less dangerous than in the local pharmacies, where they have been held up, some repeatedly.  As a community, we need to work together to address this growing problem. 

On a related, but lighter note, recently a local pharmacy was burglarized and on the surveillance video, you can see the burglar going right for what he thought were the Fentanyl patches.  Unfortunately for him, he got away with a whole lot of Estrogen patches.  Then again, maybe he knows a number of women who are in need of hormonal therapy.

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