BHB´s 2011 Annual Report Released

Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces the publication of its 2011 Annual Report. The 2011 Annual Report includes audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2011, and reviews patient care and quality improvements, project developments and major initiatives that were achieved.

Highlights this fiscal year include:
• $4m saved in consultancy costs and reduction in senior leadership
• Groundbreaking for the new hospital facility
• Launch of digital mammography service
• New Cardiology practice established to improve care for people with
heart disease
• Stroke mortality halved compared to 2003
• Introduction of Fast Track service reduced wait times in Emergency
• New medication checking system improved patient safety
• Mental Health Plan Launched

Venetta Symonds, BHB CEO, comments: “I am very pleased to see this report released as it brings our reporting obligations up to date. Although I was not CEO during the period under review, it shows that the investment in quality improvements to patient care have been a constant focus. I am very proud of my BHB colleagues who ensure we improve day in and day out. Projects such as medication checking, the digital mammography service and Fast Track require teams of staff working together for the good of our patients above and beyond their normal day to day duties. Maintaining and improving our services also require us to make enough surplus to purchase replacement and new equipment, repair and maintain our facilities and infrastructure, invest in staff and make the clinical improvements necessary to keep pace with international standards in treatments, medications and diagnostic tests.

“While some of our surplus is made through the utilization of our acute care services, efficiencies and reduced costs are playing an increasing role in our financial planning. Our focus the 2010-11 was to deliver quality front line clinical care, while reducing costs in administrative areas. A lot has happened since 31 March 2011, but within the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report, through the termination and non-renewal of contracts, and the elimination of a senior leadership post, $4 million was saved. In the 2011 fiscal year we also introduced our first memorandum of understanding (MOU) that essentially capped a local insurer’s exposure to BHB costs. The success of this MOU has led us to work in similar ways with other insurers and government since the fiscal year under review. This helps bring greater stability to an insurer’s exposure to hospital costs, although it also requires careful management by the hospital as it essentially caps how much we can earn.”

“BHB remains very aware that as Bermuda’s only hospital we have a duty to ensure we meet international standards. This is one of the main reasons we voluntarily put ourselves through multiple accreditation surveys, at the hospital-wide level with Accreditation Canada and at the specialist level with bodies such as the American College of Radiology and Joint Commission International. These are important and very intensive, but the result ensures that international standards around patient care and safety are implemented and tested. I would like to thank BHB staff and also our patients who give us extremely valuable feedback through the satisfaction survey regarding how we are doing and what can be done to improve.”

BHB operates under the Hospitals Act 1970 and subsequent amendments. The Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) is funded by a lump sum operational grant by government. All other acute and long term care services are charged based on usage and are paid for by individuals, private insurers or government insurance programmes based on the fees and charges approved by the House each year.

Wendall Brown, Chairman of the Board, comments: “On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to see this report published and see how BHB improved the standard of care delivered in the year under review. I hope this report gives the community a better understanding of the huge agenda that BHB is working to, and the improvements that are already taking place. Annual payments for the new acute care facility will start in 2014 when it is completed to our specifications, but we still need to fund replacement and new equipment when needed as well as maintain and revitalize our existing facilities which are ageing. Our key focus at the moment is efficiency and strengthening governance to ensure a sound performance management framework. The pressures of the economic times are being felt by everyone, including BHB. Our fees cannot be raised in line with inflation at the moment and the Memorandum of Understanding further caps our ability to raise revenue. This will require us to be more austere, push efficiencies further and seek innovative new ways to collaborate within the healthcare system to help Bermuda maintain quality while control costs.

“We were unfortunately delayed in publishing this report by a longer than anticipated auditing process. It has been, as always, a very thorough and professional process. We were very pleased to see BHB Financial Statements receive an unqualified opinion from the Office of the Auditor General for the 2011 fiscal year. The process of auditing our 2012 finances is already nearing completion.”

Link 1: Link to BHB´s 2011 Annual Report

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