Ontario’s chief coroner faces scrutiny at Wettlaufer inquiry

Kate Dubinski, CBC News

The province’s chief coroner says some long-term care homes are still submitting death records by fax, instead of electronically, forcing a four-year delay in his office’s planned data analysis. Dr. Dirk Huyer said his office has been ready to analyze deaths in long-term care homes since 2014, but hasn’t been able to because death records are being sent in different formats. To analyze just the electronic records would lead to incomplete and incorrect data analysis, he said. “It defeats the purpose of an analytics model of trying to identify patterns,” Huyer said. It’s unclear if such an analysis may have found a pattern of problems with patient deaths under nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer’s care. 

Wettlaufer admitted to killing eight patients in southwestern Ontario by injecting them with massive amounts of insulin. The Wettlaufer inquiry, which resumed Monday after a two-week break, is hearing from the coroner’s office. It’s trying to determine what systemic problems led to Wettlaufer being able to get away with the murders undetected.

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