Staff members, following protocol, alerted Garden Terrace management in May after they became suspicious that residents were not receiving medications
A former Garden Terrace registered practical nurse has been arrested and charged with one count of mischief and another count of mischief to data following a police investigation launched in May immediately after other employees of the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home alerted management of suspicions that the nurse may have failed to administer medications to residents on one floor.
Garden Terrace management notified police, the families of residents affected, the College of Nurses of Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care after staff members, following protocol, discovered the RPN in question had allegedly disposed of medications instead of administering them to residents on the floor under their care.
The employee was immediately relieved of all duties and no longer works at the home.
OMNI Health Care, owner of Garden Terrace, said in a statement the No. 1 priority at all times is ensuring all residents are safe and that processes remain in place to keep residents free from harm.
“Our first concern at this time is for the health and safety of our residents, and we acknowledge the degree to which this matter is upsetting to residents and families as well as our caring staff,” the statement read.
As part of the company’s investigation, OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy said resident charts and medication records were extensively reviewed by clinical staff and pharmacists to ensure no changes in condition had resulted from instances where medications were not administered as prescribed by this RPN.
McCarthy says medication administration in any long-term care home encompasses a wide variety of prescription drugs based on individual conditions.
Residents and families who may have been affected were notified of the incident, and the assessments have concluded that no resident experienced apparent harm.
OMNI has an electronic medical administration record that monitors the administration of prescribed medications, and staff members follow established professional practice guidelines and regulatory requirements.
These protocols, along with the quick action of staff to alert managers of the situation, allowed management to take quick action to review and assess any potential impact on residents, to assist police in their investigation, and to report the matter to the appropriate authorities.
The allegations against the former employee, who is currently under interim suspension pending investigation by the College of Nurses, have not been tested in court.