CNO is enhancing our professional conduct procedures. We’ve heard the issues raised in the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry and we are improving our processes to help protect the public. As part of this ongoing strategy, we have updated our resources for making a complaint and a report.
Changes to our Reporting Form
We have updated the reporting form that is used when making a report about a nurse’s conduct or capacity. The form can be used by a nurse, a nurse employer, or facility operator to report any information to CNO, not just incidents that employers are required to report.
The updated Reporting Form, formerly called the Report Form for Facility Operators and Employers, has new features to make it easier to complete and submit.
First, instructions have been added to the form. This allows the user to understand the process without having to go back and forth between the form and the instructions on www.cno.org.
Second, we have clarified employer’s reporting responsibilities and requirements. We have also added an option for “Non-mandatory reports.” This is for information that an employer isn’t required under regulation to report, yet the employer feels it is in the public’s best interest to make CNO aware of the incident.
Third, we have added more sections to the form for describing the incidents that led to the report. We want to ensure that users are aware there is no limit to the amount of information they can provide.
You can learn more about CNO’s reporting process online.
Changes to our Complaints Form
An essential part of how we protect the public is making sure someone who has concerns about a nurse’s conduct can easily access and understand our complaints process. As part of this, we have updated our resources for making a complaint.
The updated Make a Complaint form has three new features that make it easier to complete.
First, the form can now be completed online. Previously, a user had to print a paper copy and fill it out by hand.
Second, we have added instructions to the form. This allows the user to understand the process without having to go back and forth between the form and the instructions on the web page.
Third, there are more sections to the form for members of the public to include details about the complaint. We want users to be aware there is no limit to the amount of information they can provide.
We’ve also updated the Make a Complaint web page, so it is easier to understand when and how to make a complaint. Read more about CNO’s complaints process online.
Are you a nurse employer or health care administrator needing to know more about CNO’s investigation, prosecutions and monitoring processes? Then our new employer resources can be helpful to you.
As a nurse employer, you have an important role in nursing regulation. You work with us to protect the public. You are accountable for overseeing nurses’ conduct and behaviour, and are involved in reporting processes and other professional conduct matters.
We created the Employer Resources web page to help you understand what happens when we receive a report or complaint about a nurse. It also explains your accountabilities during an investigation and its potential outcomes, including how we monitor nurses with restricted, suspended or revoked certificates of registration.
Please check back often, as this important tool is updated regularly to keep you informed of the most up-to-date information.
To learn about other ways CNO and nurse employers work together, visit Employer Reference Group.
To help employers decide whether to report a nurse to CNO, we are participating in a pilot study of the Adverse Event Decision Pathway with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). NCSBN is a not-for-profit organization advancing nursing regulatory excellence worldwide.
The Adverse Event Decision Pathway is a decision-making tool designed to help protect the public. It assists employers in deciding how to respond to adverse events involving nurses, including whether to report the nurse.
The tool was developed by NCSBN in early 2018. It stems from research conducted by NCSBN that indicated many employers want additional guidance from their regulators about reporting nurses.
In early 2019, we are sending emails to senior nurse managers working in all sectors inviting them to participate in the pilot. Those who do participate will be asked to complete two surveys: one before using the pathway and one after using the pathway for six months. The quantitative and qualitative study results will be used to refine the tool. Once the tool is considered effective, it will be launched. The results will also be used to identify barriers to employer reporting so additional resources can be developed.
This tool is also being piloted by the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals.
Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patients’ personal health information is fundamental to the nursing profession. If you are a health information custodian, you are responsible for ensuring that systems are in place to meet the legislated requirements of the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information. According to new rules under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, you are also required to provide the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) with an annual report of statistics relating to health privacy breaches.
The IPC has opened the online statistics submission website for custodians to submit their statistics for the 2018 reporting year. Custodians that have experienced at least one health privacy breach from January to December 2018 are required by law to complete the online questionnaire. The deadline to submit is Friday, March 1, 2019.
You do not have to submit a report if there were no health privacy breaches to report for 2018.
To learn more about reporting health privacy breaches, including access to guidance documents and responses to frequently asked questions, refer to the IPC’s 2018 Mandatory Statistics Reporting blog post.
If you have any questions about the reporting process, contact the IPC directly.
To make it easier for members of the public and employers to find current and past employment information about a nurse, CNO’s Council is proposing two changes to our Register and Fees By-Laws. These changes would increase the amount of employment information on the public Register, and would allow CNO to charge a fee if a nurse fails to notify us about changes in their employment status within 30 days.
Council is proposing these changes because including more employment information on the register would increase transparency, lead to increased confidence in the nursing profession and give the public the information they need to make informed decisions about who is providing their care. It would also provide employers with another consistent, efficient and reliable way to obtain information about nurses when making hiring decisions.
Recommendations to publish employment history on the register were made by several participants, including victims’ groups and the Ontario Long-Term Care Association during the public hearings of the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry. Although the Inquiry will deliver its final report and recommendations by July 31, 2019, we have reviewed and reflected on the publicly available material as well as evidence in literature and have proactively identified improvements that can be made now. Posting more employment information on our public Register is one such change in the public interest.
Review the proposed changes and send us your feedback. The deadline to comment is Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.
At their March 2019 meeting, Council will review your feedback before deciding whether to implement the by-law changes.
Proposed changes to the Register By-Law
Currently, Find a Nurse only lists each practicing nurse’s “primary” employer. We are proposing that this be expanded to include all “current” employers and employers from the last three years. We know that many nurses have more than one employer, and providing a broader listing of employers will provide a clearer and more accurate portrayal of the information nurses declare.
The College already collects this information and nurses are already required to report this. The proposed change is only to make this information available on the public Register.
Proposed changes to the Fees By-Law
Currently, nurses are required to update their employment information with CNO within 30 days of any change in their employment. This has been a reporting requirement for all practicing nurses for some time. The proposed by-law change is to allow us to charge a fee if a nurse fails to meet their self-reporting requirements. It is important that the information on Find a Nurse be up-to-date and accurate. Money collected from this fee would help CNO to partially recoup costs associated with tracking down and changing out-of-date information.
Comment on the changes
If you would like to submit feedback about any of the proposed changes, comment on the specific proposed by-law change using its corresponding feedback box. The deadline to comment is Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.