The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 28, 2013

Montour County court will hear painkiller theft case against former Geisinger nurse

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— PRELIMINARY HEARING

DANVILLE — The case of a former Geisinger Medical Center registered nurse’s alleged failure to document painkilling narcotics to patients 12 times was sent to court Wednesday afternoon.

Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder sent to court the case of Patricia Ann Herbert, 59, of 109 W. Mahoning St., following a preliminary hearing.

Witnesses testified she pulled narcotics from Geisinger’s automated system at twice as high a rate as the next nurse. Herbert remains free on her own recognizance.

Mahoning Township police charged her with prohibited acts related to narcotics March 1-19, 2012, when she signed out Oxycodone and Percocet tablets from a cart but didn’t administer them.

Cpl. Clay Fahringer and Duane Musser, of the state attorney general’s office, filed the charges.

Peter Price, an operations manager in Geisinger’s Bush Pavilion 7, where Herbert worked until April 12, testified Geisinger uses a Pandora automated system which tracks narcotics removed by nurses, Nurses enter a code, a password and the patient’s name to withdraw narcotics from the medical cart.

The pharmacy department generates a monthly report showing the total number of narcotics withdrawals per nurse.

Of 12 incidents, 11 were Herbert’s patients and one wasn’t her patient, Price said.