Ohio Board of Pharmacy cites 3 pharmacists, Mt.Carmel in Husel investigation

Husel Investigation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy is proposing disciplinary action against three licensed pharmacists in connection with the investigation into Mount Carmel and Dr. William Husel.

According to the Board of Pharmacy, John O’Connell, Nathan Kochheiser and Gregory White — as well as the now-defunct Mount Carmel West Hospital — have been provided with Notices of Opportunity for Hearing before the board as the board considers taking disciplinary action against their licenses.

O’Connell and Mount Carmel West were cited for failure to create or enforce policies that “provided for the safe and efficient distribution of drugs in all areas of the institution,” failure to provide “appropriate supervision and control” of automated dispensing units, which allowed nurses to override controlled substances for non-emergent cases while following Dr. Husel’s orders.

Kochheiser was cited for verifying high doses of fentanyl given to two patients as “Compliant with the treatment standard” on the Drug Utilization Review (DUR).

White was cited for verifying high doses of fentanyl and other drugs for three patients.

The Board of Pharmacy’s investigation into Mount Carmel and Dr. Husel has taken more than 15,000 investigative hours including 23 interviews and a review of 48,000 documents.

Husel is accused of ordering excessive and potentially fatal doses of fentanyl and other pain medications for his patients. Husel is currently charged with 25 counts of murder.

Mount Carmel issued the following statement:

During the past year, we cooperated fully with the Board of Pharmacy to investigate the circumstances around Dr. Husel’s actions. We fully anticipated the Board would issue Notices of Opportunity for Hearing—as is common after significant events like these.

We respect and appreciate the Board’s extensive investigation. Mount Carmel shared the same concerns outlined in the Board’s Notice. That’s why earlier this year, we took quick action to ensure patient medication safety, including:

Establishing a policy to reduce verbal and phone orders

Limiting overrides to emergency situations as well as review of overrides that are consistent with American Society of Health-System Pharmacists best practice recommendations

Setting maximum doses for pain medication in our electronic medical record (EMR)

Establishing an escalation policy for deviations in our pain medication protocols

We respect the actions taken by the Board of Pharmacy and its role in ensuring that all pharmacists follow the expected standards of professional practice in our community. Out of respect for the privacy of these individuals, we will not address individual Notices of Opportunity for Hearing.

We remain committed to cooperating with the Board of Pharmacy and all other agencies.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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