Nurse receives four month suspension for snooping
May 4, 2016
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – A nurse has been suspended for four months by a disciplinary panel at the College of Nurses of Ontario for snooping through nearly 300 patient files at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Mandy Edgerton (formerly Edgerton-Reid) also received a formal reprimand by the panel.
Edgerton was found guilty of professional misconduct for accessing 285 patient files without consent or authorization. Moreover, when the nurse gets her registration back, she’ll have to notify any employer of the misconduct and complete remedial instruction assigned by the College of Nurses of Ontario.
According to the Peterborough Examiner, Edgerton combed through the files between 2010 and 2012 while working as a nurse at PRHC. She had been hired in 2009. The panel also found Edgerton guilty of professional misconduct for failing to maintain appropriate nurse-client boundaries with someone for whom she was providing home care between June 2012 and October 2013.
She was employed by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) at the time and discussed personal issues, brought family to the client’s home, and dined and travelled with the client.
Edgerton admitted to both accusations of misconduct, according to a report from the college.
The nurse was one of seven employees fired from PRHC in 2012 after allegations of patient privacy being breached.
She was also a part-time clinical instructor in the practical nursing program at Fleming College from 2010 to 2012. A student of Edgerton’s came forward in March 2012, alleging Edgerton shared her medical records with her classmates during training.
At this point, the hospital performed an audit of Edgerton’s accesses to patients’ files and discovered she’d been accessing files without authorization.
Before March 2012, PRHC didn’t carry out regular audits, so they didn’t pick up on Edgerton’s actions, according to the report. PRHC mailed letters to all of the patients whose files were breached and reported the incident to the Information and Privacy Commissioner in March 2012.
In 2013, a group of former PRHC patients, whose files were comprised, launched a $5.6-million lawsuit against the hospital, Edgerton and the other six former employees and Fleming College.