Report: Owen Rooney case could’ve been better documented

A recent report suggests Boundary Hospital officials could've documented a missing Australian man's stay better.

Owen Rooney (right) with sister Bree. According to a recent review

A recently released report suggests that missing Australian man Owen Rooney could have received better care when he was at Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks in August 2010.

The Patient Care Quality Review Board (an independent body) released a review to both the Rooney family and Interior Health (IH).

According to an excerpt from the report provided by Rooney’s mother Sharron, despite the fact Owen had told hospital officials he had been assaulted, no Glasgow Coma Scale (measures conscious state of person) was recorded and as well, no past medical or mental history was taken and a section on social history on an intake form wasn’t filled out – an Emergency Assessment record was not completed fully either.

The report also said that the charting did not meet the documentation standards of the College of Registered Nurses of B.C. which states, “Nurses must document timely and appropriate reports of assessments, decisions about client status, plans, interventions and client outcomes.”

“The documentation of Owen’s hospital stay was very poor,” Sharron Rooney said in an email.

“All information from the nurses was a recollection weeks after Owen went missing.”

Ingrid Hampf, IH’s acute care area director for Kootenay Boundary, said that IH realizes now that documentation could’ve been done better.

“It was recognized immediately that there were gaps in the documentation. Without the documentation, it becomes very difficult when you’re looking backwards to know exactly who said what and what happened and we rely on people’s memories and assumptions,” she explained.

Hampf said that IH has learned from the Rooney incident and has done a lot of internal reviews.

“We’ve supported the staff around documentation and ensuring that the staff recognizes the importance of following up on their documentation and we’ve provided those in services and education for our staff,” Hampf explained.

“We constantly, within health care, improve and then re-evaluate some little things that we’ve done and continually, we’re on an improvement cycle and the physicians and the staff at Boundary Hospital have certainly done that.”

Hampf said that the improvement cycle is also done in the context of IH, ensuring that lessons learned are also applied across the organization as well but she also said that the review board demonstrated that the staff acted appropriately after Owen went missing.

“Once Owen did leave the building, staff here did everything above and beyond to ensure that the police were notified,” said Hampf.

“In reality, Owen was not certified under the Mental Health Act and was free to leave the building at any time. I think that’s key, that we had no ability to hold Owen against his will and because he’d already been here and had been in and out of the building, going to the edge of the property to smoke, and actually sitting outside in the patio area, enjoying the August day, he certainly had demonstrated that he would go and come back.”

As for Sharron Rooney, she was undecided as to her feelings about the review.

“I am not sure how I feel about the review as with most steps in our search for Owen I have to digest what happens and which way to go next,” she said.

Owen Rooney went missing shortly after his stay at the hospital back in August 2010 and is still missing.

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