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. firstname.lastname@example.org