Update (Thuesday, Feb. 9, 2023):
Kingston Police have confirmed that their Criminal investigations Division is currently investigating the incidence of an individual fraudulently gaining employment at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) through Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC).
Police would not say anything further about the investigation, which involves an individual submitting “false information and claiming to be a registered nurse” who was then employed by KHSC at the KGH site for approximately six months.
Despite inquiries to KHSC from Kingstonist, the health-care organization, which oversees a number of local hospitals and clinics, would not identify the individual who attended to patients under fraudulent credentials across 11 different units at KGH.
Original article (Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023):
An employee of Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has been terminated after the organization found the individual had fraudulently gained employment with KHSC by submitting false information and claiming to be a registered nurse (RN) when they were not in fact registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).
KHSC has launched an investigation following this termination. According to a press release from KHSC, the individual worked primarily in the post-surgical unit (Kidd 6) at the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site from July 22, 2022, to Jan. 27, 2023. This individual also worked some shifts on additional units between Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, and Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, including the Admission and Transfer Unit (ATU), Connell 10, Kidd 9, Connell 9, Davies 5, Kidd 5, Kidd 4, Johnson 3, Kidd 3, and Connell 3.
“This individual undertook significant efforts to fraudulently gain employment with KHSC, including providing extensive forged documentation of their qualifications and credentials,” said Jason Hann, Executive Vice-President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive for KHSC. “The fraudulent activity was identified through a routine, scheduled check with the CNO, [which] is completed for all nurses employed at KHSC, and we quickly took action to end the individual’s employment.”
KHSC said that it has informed the appropriate authorities, including the CNO and Kingston Police. In addition to conducting its own internal investigation, KHSC noted it will fully cooperate with any investigation by these external agencies.
“We are in the process of reviewing our hiring and onboarding process to ensure there are not gaps in our systems that would allow for another incident to occur in the future,” said Sandra Carlton, Executive Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer for KHSC. “While we believe this is a truly unique scenario, we will use this as an opportunity to strengthen our processes to the fullest extent possible to ensure it will not happen again.”
KHSC’s internal investigation will focus on determining the impact on patients and their families, according to the release. The health-care agency is currently in the process of contacting individual patients and families who were cared for by the former employee to provide more direct information on its findings.
“We understand the stress and anxiety this news may cause for our patients and other KHSC staff. We will work directly with the impacted patients, families, and staff to address their concerns,” said Dr. David Pichora, President and CEO of KHSC. “We are committed to providing patients and their families with safe, high-quality care at all times and we are committed to speaking with each individual that reaches out to us using the contact information that has been provided to the patients who have been impacted.”
Any patients of KGH with concerns they would like to discuss further can contact KHSC’s Patient Relations team by email ([email protected]) or phone (613-549-6666 extension 4158).
KHSC asks those who reach out to please note that due to the in-depth nature of these calls and the time needed to commit to each one, some patients may not receive an immediate call-back. KHSC apologizes for any delay and thanks everyone for their patience as our staff work through the process of addressing individual concerns.
KHSC oversees the operations of a number of local hospitals and health-care facilities, including KGH, Hotel Dieu Hospital, and the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario.
“Kingston Police has been made aware of this occurrence by Kingston Health Sciences Centre and the incident is currently being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Division,” Kingston Police said in response to Kingstonist inquiries asking when KHSC contacted police about this issue, as well as what is being done to hold the individual in question accountable.
Kingstonist has requested further information from KHSC on this matter, including the identity of the former employee. No response was received by time of publication. This article will be updated if/when more information becomes available.