Nick Culbertson, Protenus CEO and Co-Founder, keynotes session on latest data analytics tools for preventing healthcare opiate abuse at American Medical Informatics Association 2018 Informatics Summit

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San Francisco, CA -- In the midst of an alarming opioid epidemic, drug diversion is playing a contributing role. As much as 10 to 15% of all healthcare professionals will misuse drugs or alcohol at some point during their careers, and hospital leaders are beginning to utilize big data analytics and artificial intelligence platforms to combat addiction inside their systems.

Speaking this week at the American Medical Informatics Association 2018 Informatics Summit, Nick Culbertson, CEO and Co-founder of Protenus, a healthcare compliance analytics platform, detailed the impact drug diversion is having on healthcare workforce and patients, as well as strategies healthcare systems use to proactively detect and prevent drug diversion incidents from wreaking havoc within their organization.

According to Protenus research, hospitals currently average 18 months to detect addicted employee theft and misuse of controlled substances. The research, published in the Drug Diversion Digest, reviewed news reports of hundreds of diversion incidents over the course of 2017, including terminations, arrests, and overdoses related to on-the-job drug abuse by healthcare workers. Culbertson’s session at the summit, “A Next Generation Approach to Drug Diversion Monitoring,” details the evolution of drug diversion programs meant to curtail these activities.

“Current drug diversion monitoring is reactive, with health systems only able to react to incidents that are brought to their attention, often after a devastating incident has occurred" stated Nick Culbertson. “AI-powered technology has the ability to shift healthcare organizations from reactive to proactive, allowing healthcare leaders to not only better protect their patients, but also help members of their workforce who may be battling addiction.”

By using artificial intelligence, hospitals can analyze hundreds of potential diversion risk factors simultaneously, flagging suspicious activities much earlier than traditional methods. This approach represents the healthcare industry’s move away from legacy controlled substance monitoring efforts, and allows hospital leaders to identify staff at risk of addiction, get them the help they need, and ultimately prevent harm to both employees and patients.

The AMIA 2018 Informatics Summit is an annual conference for informatics professionals and collaborators within the health data science community, who are committed to making data actionable and improving clinical decisions, patient-care, and human health.

About Protenus

The Protenus healthcare compliance analytics platform uses artificial intelligence to audit every access to patient records for the nation’s leading health systems. Providing healthcare leaders full insight into how health data is being used, and alerting privacy, security and compliance teams to inappropriate activity, Protenus helps our partner hospitals make decisions about how to better protect their data, their patients, and their institutions. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @Protenus.


Kira Caban,
Director of Public Relations

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