Hand therapy notes missing

31 July 2017

Notes regarding the treatment of people who received physiotherapy on their hands between 2012 and 2015 at Gisborne Hospital cannot be located.

The notes may include hand treatment details and the referral from a doctor. They do not include a patient’s full medical record.

The issue was discovered recently during an audit. A full investigation has now taken place. The missing notes can all be attributed to the treating therapist, a previous employee of Hauora Tairāwhiti. This person has been assisting with the investigation. Most of the missing notes were located, but 118 have not been found.

People whose notes are missing have been contacted. Hauora Tairawhiti understands that this incident is concerning for the people who were treated five to six years ago. “We sincerely regret any anxiety this may cause people, says Shared Services Clinical Care Manager Kate Mather. “We have done all we can to recover the missing notes and to make sure this never happens again. I invite anyone with any concerns to contact me at Hauora Tairāwhiti.”

“The investigation has identified opportunities to improve Hauora Tairāwhiti’s processes around the management of clinical files.”

Procedures are now in place to ensure that all clinical files are closed by an administrator once a person’s treatment has finished. Through this process, we can check for open files at any time to see where the clinical files are located, therefore any inconsistencies will be highlighted early.

The physiotherapist has been referred to their professional body. They are conducting their own investigation. The incident has also been referred to the Privacy Commission and the Ministry of Health has been notified.