The Investigative Services Unit (ISU) investigates complaints against health care practitioners and facilities/establishments regulated by the Department of Health. Unlicensed activity complaints are investigated as well. ISU functions as the investigative arm of the division. ISU includes a staff of professional investigators and senior pharmacists who conduct interviews, collect documents and evidence, prepare investigative reports for the Prosecution Services Unit and serve subpoenas and official orders of the department.
The Consumer Services Unit refers complaints to the ISU field office closest to where the incident occurred. Complaints that present an immediate threat to public safety are given priority; however, all complaints are investigated as timely as possible. When the complaint is assigned to an investigator, the complainant will be contacted and given the opportunity to provide additional information. A thorough investigation will be conducted. The steps taken in the investigation are determined by the specifics of the allegations.
Generally, the investigative steps include the following:
- Obtaining medical records, documentation and evidence related to the complaint
- Locating and interviewing the complainant, the patient, the subject and any witnesses
- Drafting and serving subpoenas for necessary information
After the information is collected and interviews are conducted, the investigator will write an investigative report. The report is forwarded to the department’s attorneys for legal review.