Patient referrals not sent: Eastern Health

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Vickie Kaminski — Telegram file photo

The Telegram Eastern Health says referral requests to specialists for 31 patients at the community health office in St. Mary’s were not sent to the appropriate departments.

In a news release, it said it confirmed on April 17 that the requests from the clinic had not been forwarded so follow-up appointments could be made.

“The employee involved in this incident is currently on leave pending the completion of the review.,” said an Eastern Health spokeswoman. “However, once completed, and in consultation with its human resources department, Eastern Health will determine what disciplinary action may be required.”

Eastern Health has also satisfied itself that no patients were harmed. “

The physician has conducted a thorough review of each patient file and has concluded that the patients identified were not caused harm as a result of having not received the intended referral for further medical consultation and/or assessment,” said Vickie Kaminski, president and CEO of Eastern Health. “The majority of the 31 patients have been contacted by Eastern Health and, if required, arrangements are being made for reassessment and/or referral.”

The referrals, the release states, were not urgent, and emergency referrals have been made.

The spokeswoman said, “In this situation, the process for filing patient information was not followed. All referrals should have been date-stamped to identify when the referral was sent or faxed to the intended recipient and returned to the patient’s chart.

“The incident of not correctly processing medical referrals was an isolated instance. This incident in no way reflects on the work of other employees at the community health office in St. Mary’s, or implies a lack of policies and procedures in the proper processing of medical referrals.”

Twenty-five of the 31 patients are still under the care of the physician at the St. Mary’s clinic.

Kaminski apologized on behalf of Eastern Health and said measures are being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

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Recent comments

  • California Pete from NFLD
    May 08, 2013 - 12:24

    I will take Obama care any day over what is up your way. But my first thought if I were up there would be to let Kaminski go out the door and lock it behind her.

  • carogers
    May 08, 2013 - 07:48

    Where is the accountability? If I forget to mark certain things on a daily report with a high lighter, I'm called on the carpet. Why can these employees cause sick people to NOT get referrals to aid their treatment and still nothing is done. There is a supervisor at my work that could whip these people into shape. Eastern Health needs a referral service to refer their incompetent employees out of positions with responsibilities that affect patients. Where are the checks and balances that ensure mistakes are caught? Where is the professionalism, the pride in a good job done? Doesn't exist anymore. Employees think they deserve a paycheque for showing up. Eastern Health can't seem to handle confronting problem employees. A disastrous mix.

  • Elizabeth Meaney.
    May 07, 2013 - 21:57

    please get in touch with me.

  • Elizabeth Meaney.
    May 07, 2013 - 21:53

    I had three oppointents that were never mailed out to me. Thesese oppointents where with 3 specialists. The appointments left the Dr's clinics to be mailed out never got sent. Maybe I have someone i know working there who don' like and is responsibal. You needs to get to the bottom of this.

  • david
    May 07, 2013 - 19:58

    The gong show continues. That wonderful, 'free' health care...the one that you are trapped in, and the one that will kill you.

  • Whaddaya At
    May 07, 2013 - 18:37

    Patients test results misread, employees sticking their noses in patients' files, requests for referrals to specialists overlooked, on and on and on it goes. From top to bottom there are obviously too many mopes employed at Eastern Health.

  • trainwreck
    May 07, 2013 - 17:47

    Incompetant ppl fire their arses!

  • Former days
    May 07, 2013 - 16:43

    When the Sisters of Mercy oversaw the operation of the healthcare, you would never hear tell of such mistakes. Their dedication and organization did not see patients left in halls, paper haphazardly stapled to the walls such as in the ER, more than one Doctor on in the ER during night hours. The executives running the hospitals do not know what they are doing and they only care when something goes wrong. Viki Kiminski should resign and allow someone better qualified to manage our provinces heathcare.

  • Frank
    May 07, 2013 - 14:15

    It now seems obvious that a Doctor and a Nurse practitioner can be completely ignored by an employee. While I have read that only non-urgent referrals weren't processed the fact remains that if some poor unfortunate soul had died because of this gross neglect, would Kaminsky have down played it then? No names, no cited discipline and this person keeps it's job apparently unfazed by it's actions. We pay for this incompetence in services denied and even possibly death.