Mount Carmel President, CEO defends hospital in interview

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COLUMBUS (WBNS) — Mount Carmel Health System President and CEO Ed Lamb defended his hospitals Friday during a brief interview with 10 Investigates.

10 Investigates reporter Bennett Haeberle was covering another news story in downtown Columbus when he encountered Lamb and asked him to address criticism that Mount Carmel could have addressed the patient overdosing scandal sooner.

Ed Lamb: “I think we've been very transparent. We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to let the public know what's going on.”

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10 Investigates: “Was the hospital aware before October?”

Ed Lamb: “We've been discovering things all along as we've been learning through the investigation.”

10 Investigates: “Was there any chance to remove (Husel) before October.

Ed Lamb: “Not before October, no.”

It was late October when Mount Carmel says it first learned of an allegation involving Dr. WIlliam Husel’s patient care.

The hospital removed – and later fired Husel in December following an internal investigation.

The hospital initially learned of the allegation against Husel in late October and removed him from patient care in November after more allegations surfaced.

In that period of time - between October and November - three patients died, according to civil lawsuits filed against Mount Carmel.

To date, 35 patients are believed to have received excessive doses of pain medication ordered by Husel.

What exactly killed them is being debated by civil attorneys representing the families and attorneys representing Husel and Mount Carmel.

This week, health inspectors said Mount Carmel has fixed problems with lax controls in its pharmacy that allowed Husel and others to access the drugs through the use of overrides.

“We continue to move forward. We continue to put a lot of things in place to ensure that we are doing everything we can to make sure this never ever happens again. We have incredible folks who have been dedicated to our mission for over 130 years and we will continue to do so,” Lamb said.

Health inspectors working on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said there are still deficiencies that need to be fixed.

The hospital says it has already addressed those or is in the process of fixing them.

It’s not clear what exactly those inspectors found during more extensive surveys at Mount Carmel facilities in March. Those records could be released in the next 30 days, if not sooner.

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