Prescription drug management software maker Kit Check today announced the introduction of a new AI system that assigns hospital staff a score to predict the likelihood they will steal opioids and other controlled substances meant for patients.
The Individual Risk Identification Score (IRIS) will be combined with Kit Check’s Bluesight for Controlled Substances offering that helps hospitals follow legally mandated audits of drug theft and is currently used by 40 health care facilities.
Founded in 2011, Kit Check works with about 400 hospitals and clients in the United States and Canada.
All nurses, doctors, and other members of hospital staff will be assigned IRIS scores, Kit Check CEO Kevin MacDonald told VentureBeat in an email.
Kit Check’s machine learning algorithms were trained with input from clinical pharmacists. The algorithm does not currently take into consideration things like a person’s social media activity when determining whether that individual is likely to steal drugs — but it could in the future, he said.
To reach its conclusions, IRIS takes into account data from drug dispensing cabinets, electronic medical records, and drug disposal records, along with other available data sources.
“The technology calculates how unusual one’s behavior is versus peers in their department, as well as peers across other hospitals, and analyzes a number of underlying metrics and patterns to create an overall risk score,” MacDonald said. “The IRIS dashboard then shows who has the most risk in ranked order so hospital personnel can focus on people who are showing risky patterns. The technology allows an administrator to look at why a person is scored as unusually risky and shows the specific transactions that contributed to the risk score.”
How scores are used to approach employees expected of theft and which specific employees are granted access to the dashboard is up to each health care facility, MacDonald said.
“A person’s score can change over time, and it’s not a 100 percent certainty that a high score means a staff member is diverting medications. There will be situations where a person’s patterns shifted in an unusual — but explainable — way, for example, temporarily getting assigned to a different department/pattern. IRIS allows hospital personnel to have that conversation, evaluate the available data, and move on to other staff members that represent high risk.”
With time, Kit Check plans to add additional sources of data to the IRIS score, such as additional use of employee tracking systems.
Kit Check plans to extend its theft detection system beyond hospitals to care centers still under the control of hospitals — such as ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care, long-term care facilities, and anywhere else controlled substances are handled.