The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

November 26, 2013

Police: Nurse failed to document painkillers

— MAHONING TWP. — A Geisinger Medical Center registered nurse failed to document drugs for patients 16 times, wasting of medications 81 times and obtained medications for patients five times in the absence of a doctor’s order and once after a patient was discharged, according to police.

Mahoning Township Cpl. Chad Thomas charged Traci Lynn Rasor, 44, of Tunkhannock, with prohibited acts for failure, on 10 occasions, to make, keep or furnish records of dispensing and administering Fentanyl from May 10 through July 3.

On Aug. 28, Scott Bitting, manager of security services for Geisinger Health System, informed police of his staff investigation into suspected diversion of narcotics from Geisinger by Rasor.

On Monday, a Geisinger spokesman said Rasor is no longer employed by Geisinger.

Rasor frequently called off sick from work, would be late for her scheduled start time and would leave work prior to the end of her shift, police said.

A full vial of Versed was missing from one of Rasor’s patients July 12, police said. When she was confronted, Rasor located the vial where it had been discarded in a sharps container primarily used for discarded needles and other sharp medical instruments. Unopened vials of medications are not usually discarded in those containers, police said. Supervisor Maryann Lynn believed Rasor had the Versed when the loss was discovered and placed it in the container after it was discovered missing so Rasor could tell Lynn where to find it, police said.

Lynn audited Rasor’s medication administration records between May 3 and Aug. 9 and found Rasor had not documented the administration of Fentanyl, Morphine and Hydromorphone to patients 16 times and had not documented the wasting of the same medications 81 times. Rasor also obtained medications for patients five times in the absence of a doctor’s order and once after a patient was discharged, police said.

Rasor was questioned Aug. 16 by the Geisinger Drug Diversion Team. When asked to explain the documentation discrepancies, she said she didn’t have time or forgot to make the proper documentations, according to the charges.

When asked to explain the schedule issues, she said she suffers from vertigo, police said.

According to the charges, Rasor’s documenting of oral medications was almost always accurate, her documentation of intravenous medications was seldom accurate and documenting by her peers of intravenous medications was estimated by Lynn to be 98 percent accurate. Fentanyl, Morphine and Hydromorphone are intravenous drugs.

After being interviewed, Rasor voluntarily submitted to a urine drug screen. Police said she failed to document the administering of Fentanyl May 10, May 24, June 9, June 14, June 21, three times June 28, June 29 and July 5.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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