Interior Health to review hundreds of KGH sleep studies

Studies dating back to 2007 will be looked at after questions arise about the interpretation of results.

The Interior Health Authority is investigating nearly 1,000 sleep studies conducted at Kelonwa General Hospital over the last four year after concerns were raised about interpretation of the findings.

Interior Heath has contacted 13 patients who underwent polysomnography testing at the Kelowna General Hospital’s sleep lab and will be reviewing a further 980 cases given potential concern about the interpretation of the test results.

The polysomnography tests, also known as sleep studies, are used in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and occurred between Aug. 29, 2007 and Sept. 8, 2011.

This situation was discovered during a recent quality assurance review put in place to protect patients. A medical surveyor from the diagnostic accreditation program conducted a site visit to the KGH Sleep Lab at the end of May and identified concerns related to the quality of the readings of a small, random sampling of sleep studies conducted at the lab.

The surveyor recommended a retrospective audit by an independent, external reviewer. That review took place in late July and confirmed the surveyor’s original concerns with some studies.

“It’s important to note that the physicians doing the interpretation did have the required training or credentials required to perform this service,” said Dr. Michael Murray, IH’s senior medical director.

“We need to review our systems, ensuring we have the right checks and balances in place – including mentoring and peer review for our staff and physicians – which will enhance patient safety. That is our priority.”

The two physicians involved have voluntarily agreed to no longer interpret sleep studies. This was a service they provided in addition to their regular speciality.

Interior Health has not had concerns with their practice in those other areas.

Interior Health is in the process of reviewing which patients may require further follow-up. The review may result in some patients requiring a change in their care plans and follow-up with their referring physician.

For others, there may be no change at all.

This follow-up process includes an expert review of 980 studies that have been interpreted at the sleep lab since Aug. 29, 2007 to determine what follow-up is required, if any.  All patients will be notified of this review by Interior Health in the interest of full disclosure and transparency.

“We believe that patients would want to have this information even if the expert reviewer determines there is little or no risk involved.  Additionally, we have an ethical responsibility to inform them,” said Dr. Murray.

Interior Health operates two sleep labs, one at KGH and one at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and patients are referred by their physicians from throughout the health region.

There are no issues associated with the lab at RIH, which just recently received full accreditation by the provincial Diagnostic Accreditation Program.

Interior Health says it recognizes some patients may have questions and has established a phone line to provide information. IH staff will answer calls Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and monitoring voicemail messages after hours.  The toll-free number is 1-877-442-2001

In addition, further information is also available through Interior Health’s website, at


Just Posted

A future vision of a Kelowna neighbourhood

Kelowna city hall presents its latest version of a plan for the Capri-Landmark Centre area

Bracing for Kelowna enrolment spike

Catchment zones recommended for four south central schools

Study: Many cars don’t have winter tires

With a break in the winter in the snow in Kelowna, now is the time to get good tires

Highway conditions less than ideal this morning

Limited visibility, standing water, slippery sections: DriveBC report

Lake Country resident competes in Irish dance championship

Kelowna - Minirva McCarthy-Harley is dancing in the North American Irish Dance Championship

Hall of Fame enriched with class of 2017

Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame opens doors to six new inductees during ceremony Thursday

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey. White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Michaels: Existential crises and parenting

“Do you think, after all these years, we’re all just living in someone else’s head?”

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Federal government to boost treatment options for opioid drug users: minister

More than 2,800 people died last year as a result of the overdose crisis

Ambulance design changes urged after B.C. man falls out, dies

A coroner’s jury makes recommendations after hearing about death of Ebony Aaron Wood

Suspects in Penticton shooting caught on video

RCMP released CCTV video of a shooting incident at Fairhaven House

Most Read