Windsor

'Significant concerns' about Windsor sleep doctor result in suspension, fine

A Windsor respirologist has been ordered to stop practicing medicine for four months after a discipline committee found he committed professional misconduct. 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario received a complaint about Dr. Allen Denys in August 2016

A Windsor respirologist has been ordered to stop practicing medicine after a discipline committee found he committed professional misconduct.  ( Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A Windsor respirologist has been ordered to stop practicing medicine for four months after a discipline committee found he committed professional misconduct. 

Dr. Allen Denys had been practicing respirology and sleep medicine since 1977. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) received a complaint about him in August 2016. 

The complaint came from a doctor who had worked under Denys' supervision at the Windsor Sleep Disorders Clinic, and said that Denys "routinely ordered pulmonary function tests without appropriate clinical indication."

As a result of the complaint, the College began an investigation. 

After a review of 50 patient charts and an interview with Denys, the respirologist assigned to the investigation found there were 'significant areas of concern' with Denys' practice:

  • No effective initial triage process to distinguish between severe and routine patients.
  • Failure to report unsafe drivers to the Ministry of Transportation or to recommend to patients that they not drive.
  • No effective triage following sleep studies, resulting in six to nine month delays in getting treatment.
  • Quality of reports provided to referring physician was poor.

The investigator found that Denys failed to "meet the standard of practice of the profession" in 45 of the 50 reviewed patient charts.

It was also determined that Denys' practice exposed or was likely to expose patients to a risk of harm in half of the charts reviewed.

Conflict of interest, cooperating with investigation

Denys also had connections to Essex County Respiratory Services and Essex County Diagnostic Services, which he did not report to the College until 2017. The CPSO considers this a conflict of interest. 

During the investigation, the College said Denys cooperated and "took steps to address the issues raised." 

As of May 14, 2019, Denys' certificate of registration was suspended for four months. He must appear before the panel for a reprimand and pay a $6,000 fine within 30 days. 

Denys will also have to pass an ethics program within six months. 

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