Regina doctor suspended for misconduct after making changes to medical record following patient's death

A Regina doctor has been suspended and fined after being found guilty of misconduct in altering a patient’s record multiple times following the patient’s death.

Dr. Svitlana Cheshenchuk faces fine and month-long suspension, ordered to complete courses

A Regina doctor was suspended and fined after the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan found her guilty of misconduct for making a number of changes to a patient's record following the patient's death. ( Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A Regina doctor has been given a month-long suspension and fined more than $7,000 after being found guilty by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan of professional misconduct for altering a patient's medical record multiple times following the patient's death.

Dr. Svitlana Cheshenchuk faced a disciplinary hearing with the self-regulating body in connection with the records she kept on a patient, referred to in the hearing only as S.H.

"You failed to exercise due diligence to ensure that the information in your patient records accurately reflected the care which you provided to patient S.H," read the charges, which were filed in September 2017. The college's decision was delivered last month.

According to the statement of charges, Cheshenchuk completed a medical record for the patient on Oct. 17, 2014, and a few days later, heard of the patient's death.

Following that, Cheshenchuk altered the patient's medical record, adding the words "suggested to go to [emergency room], was reluctant to do ECG and go to ER, stated, 'it's bronchitis, I know.'"

The college requested the patient's electronic medical record from Cheshenchuk's office in October of 2015, but the college found "numerous substantive changes" had been made to the file over a period of eight months following the patient's visit in 2014.

Other charges included making changes to the medical record about the patient's symptoms and recorded past medical history, and altering a diagnosis to read "bronchitis" in June of 2015.

The charges said that Cheshenchuk submitted altered medical records to the college, did not exercise due diligence in ensuring the records were accurate, and did not tell the college the records had been altered.  

In its Jan. 19 decision, the college's council formally reprimanded Cheshenchuk, suspending her for one month and fining her $7,484.61 for the costs associated with the investigation.

She was also ordered to complete an ethics course on professionalism and a course on record keeping.