Bermuda Hospitals Board Achieves Accreditation in Preliminary Report

Bermuda Hospitals Board is pleased to announce that it has achieved accreditation in the preliminary report from Accreditation Canada (previously called the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation or CCHSA).

The preliminary report provides a forecast result six months before the final comprehensive report is filed in order to give the healthcare organisation under review the opportunity to make further improvements.

Maintaining accreditation is at the heart of the Bermuda Hospitals Board’s strategy to constantly improve the clinical quality of its healthcare services to keep pace with changing best international practices.

“All leading healthcare organisations have accreditation at the centre of their commitment to quality improvement,” notes David Hill, BHB Chief Executive Officer. “This is an extremely thorough process that reviews whether required organisational practices and patient safety goals are consistently being followed. This year we were surveyed through a new accreditation process, which was much tougher than before, as surveyors followed patients and really got into the heart of our operations. This really is an achievement owned by everyone at BHB, from Board directors to staff.”

The Accreditation Canada process includes surveys, interviews with staff, patients, Board directors and community stakeholders, as well as a review using the ‘tracer methodology’. Tracer methodology means surveyors follow patients through the system and review the care they received and that the appropriate processes were followed. The process began back in November when 1,000 staff were surveyed and culminated in an on-site survey in May. While the official on-site survey is once every three years, unexpected visits from surveyors are possible at any time when they can test whether improvements are still being maintained.

Achievements

Among the achievements and ‘good practices’ the report highlighted are:

• New three year strategic plan that is monitored monthly by the Board
• Finances have turned around, with Board-approved strategy and much improved accountability throughout organisation
• Excellent clinical education
• An excellent infection control programme with very low levels of hospital-acquired infection, and led by a certified infection control practitioner
• An excellent home care programme, in which safety is foremost
• Excellent quality management programme with a Quality Council that reports to the Board on a regular basis
• Much improved physician relations, with new leadership and overall engagement of the physicians
• Introduction of new hospitalist programme

In addition to positive comments, Accreditation Canada identifies areas for improvement. The surveyors were impressed that BHB was already reviewing staffing levels and since the accreditation survey took place, 60 positions have been approved by the Board for this year’s budget, most of which are in front line care.

Other areas highlighted included the need for BHB to continue to invest in improving its current facilities while working towards any new facilities, the need for outcomes to be consistently measured (which is in BHB’s 2008 Performance Improvement Plan), the recommendation to introduce a new booking and scheduling process in ambulatory care and to continue developing materials in languages pertinent to Bermuda.

“The accreditation process is vital for our hospitals as it maintains a constant focus of improving our clinical quality and services,” said Herman Tucker, Chairman of the Bermuda Hospitals Board. “The Board has an important governance role in the quality of our hospital operations and we are pleased with the accreditation process and findings of the preliminary report. BHB staff should be extremely proud of what they have achieved and the community should be reassured that the quality of our services is regularly reviewed. Maintaining accreditation is not a once every three year achievement, but a work of constant improvement and measurement.”

Accreditation Canada accredits all services at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.

More can be read about Accreditation Canada and its processes at www.cchsa.ca.

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