About Anna Nowak

Scott Pearman appointed as BHB CEO from January 2024

Monday 18 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that Deputy CEO R Scott Pearman has been appointed as the new chief executive officer (CEO) & president of BHB following a competitive recruitment process. He will take over the position after Michael Richmond MD leaves at the end of December 2023. Dr Richmond is leaving having successfully completed his contract.

Mr Pearman first joined BHB in 1996 as employee labour relations manager. He was appointed the director of human resources in 2000 and then vice president of physician relations in December 2006. Following a promotion to chief of business development in 2010, Mr Pearman was appointed as chief operating officer at KEMH the following year. In February 2017, his COO role was expanded to include the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. He was appointed as deputy chief executive officer in 2020.

Mr Pearman has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Labour Relations and Human Resources from Michigan State University, a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University, and a professional human resources certification from the Society of Human Resources Management.

Chairman of the BHB Board Matthew Pifer comments: “First I would like to thank Dr Richmond for his six years of service to the BHB and the people of Bermuda, first as chief of staff and then chief executive officer. He was at the forefront of BHB’s COVID pandemic response, oversaw a successful electronic medical record implementation, and developed a new strategic plan that focused the organisation on quality and continuous improvement. We all wish him the very best as he returns home to the UK.

“On behalf of the Board, we are immensely pleased to announce Mr Pearman as the new CEO, taking on this critical role of leading Bermuda’s hospitals. He has shown great leadership in the role of deputy CEO, exemplified by the implementation of the integrated health care programme. Mr Pearman’s appointment following a competitive recruitment process highlights the success of the executive development process at BHB. This is a critical time for public health in Bermuda and Mr. Pearman is uniquely qualified to lead the BHB in its continuing mission to serve the country’s healthcare needs. He enjoys the full support of the Board and we are excited for the future of the BHB under his leadership.

Minister of Health Kim Wilson, JP MP, comments: “It is a great pleasure to have a qualified Bermudian to take over as CEO at BHB, someone with deep experience of Bermuda’s healthcare challenges. Mr Pearman’s many years at BHB along with his growth through continuous learning and development opportunities have prepared him well to take the helm of BHB. I congratulate Mr Pearman on his appointment and look forward to seeing the continued improvement of BHB services in partnership with Government and other community partners and individuals.”

Mr Pearman comments: “I am looking forward to taking on the role of CEO in January.  I’d like to thank Dr Richmond who I have worked closely with as BHB has made progress towards implementing its strategy over the last few years, as well as the Board and my BHB colleagues for their support. I’m looking forward to continuing the drive to improve quality and value at BHB. I remain passionate about our pursuit of excellence, even as we navigate the challenges ahead, working with the wonderful staff at BHB and our many partners in government and the community.”

18 December 2023 Home Page, News

Only visit your loved ones in hospital if you feel well

Friday 15 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board today reminded people not to visit patients in hospital if they have respiratory symptoms, including patients in acute and critical care, Gosling (children’s) and maternity units, and residents in long term care units and group homes.

With figures for respiratory illnesses rising in Bermuda, individuals should also inform staff if they have symptoms and have an appointment or procedure planned.  They should call the services before arriving on-site and reschedule, unless it is an emergency.

People who have respiratory symptoms but have to attend the Emergency Department due to a medical issue must wear masks on entering a BHB facility to protect other patients.  A mask can be provided in the Emergency Department.

Dr Wesley Miller, Chief of Staff comments: “While we are no longer in a pandemic, COVID is still circulating and even the regular respiratory illnesses such as flu, colds and RSV can be dangerous for the more vulnerable members of our community, including older people, those who are already unwell and newborns. We ask people to help protect those most at risk by being considerate and not coming to BHB if they have symptoms, unless it is an emergency. For people who need to be on-site who are themselves vulnerable, a mask is recommended and those who are visiting patients they know are vulnerable should consider wearing a mask while close to their loved one in case they are infectious but asymptomatic.”

 

 

 

15 December 2023 Home Page, News

BHB histopathology tests and post-mortem reports

Friday 10 November 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board today communicated that there has been an increase in the turnaround time of its histology results and post-mortem reports. Other lab tests, such as blood and urine tests, are not impacted and results are being turned around within the usual timeframes.

The increase in turnaround time has been caused by a temporary staffing shortage in the Pathology Department. BHB currently has one consultant histopathologist and one histology technologist. Two additional staff members are going through the final stages of recruitment and BHB is in talks with overseas partners to assist if needed.

The staffing shortage is impacting the results of histology tests, which are the reviews of tissue samples. It is expected that the turnaround time will be reduced by December from three weeks (current turnaround time) to one week.

Post-mortem reports are currently taking some months to complete. There is not a delay in the autopsy itself, just the write up of findings.

Dr Wesley Miller, Chief of Staff, comments: “On behalf of BHB we apologise to patients and families for the current turnaround times for histology tests and post-mortem reports. We understand patients want their histology results as soon as possible and we are focusing on reducing the turnaround time for these tests as a matter of urgency. We also apologise to the families waiting for the post-mortem reports. We understand they also need these important documents. We are working very hard to reduce the turnaround time as well as to complete the recruitment processes for the staff who have been hired.”

10 November 2023 Home Page, News

Welcome back! UK blood donation rule has changed

Monday 5 June 2023: The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is happy to announce that people who spent time in the UK, France and certain other countries between 1980 and 1996 will now be able to donate. The change comes after research indicated there were negligible risks of transmission through blood donation. The US and Australia ended a similar criteria last year, and Ireland changed in 2019.

This blood donor criteria was initially imposed in 2000. It stopped people donating if they had spent certain amounts of time in the UK and other European countries. This was due to concerns about a potential of exposure to meat from cows with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. There is evidence that this can cause variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans.

“We are following similar decisions made in the US, Australia and Ireland in changing our criteria to accept donors who have spent time in the UK and Europe,” Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, Consultant Haematologist and clinical lead for the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre. “Our primary concern is always safety. Research shows that the risk to patients is negligible from receiving blood products from people who spent time in Europe between 1980 and 1996 and this has been supported by real-world evidence.”

Since it first emerged in 1996, vCJD has affected about 232 people in the world, 178 of whom were in Britain*. Cases in the UK have been declining since 2003, with two cases over the last 10 years in 2013 and 2016. There have never been any cases in Bermuda.

“When cases in the UK peaked around 2000, it was unknown how widespread vCJD was, what the incubation period might be, and what the risks were for transmission via blood transfusion,” explained Dr Fakunle. “The ban was implemented in 2000 out of an abundance of caution because there was no test for the disease, and the risks were not known. We appreciate it has been frustrating for people impacted by the criteria, but we are also sure they understand how the many unknowns at the time meant we had to be cautious.”

Dr Fakunle stressed: “The safety of our blood is always our first consideration. Following extensive published research, we are now confident that we can change this criteria safely. This change has gone through a thorough approval process in Bermuda. On behalf of the whole Bermuda Blood Donor Team, we all look forward to welcoming donors back.”

People who wish to donate can book an appointment by calling 236-5067 or WhatsApp 533-9553.

*Reported figures up to May 2023

5 June 2023 Home Page, News

Integrated cancer pathway leads to improved experience for breast cancer patients

Wednesday 3 May 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre (the Centre) today jointly shared information about work on an integrated breast cancer care pathway, which aims to improve the experience and outcomes for breast cancer patients in Bermuda.

At a press conference today, the integrated breast cancer care pathway booklet was made public and handed to the Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim Wilson, JP MP. The Minister had requested BHB to take the lead on developing the methodology for integrated care pathway work in Bermuda, and developing cancer pathways is one of many integration projects across different BHB services, including mental health, maternal/child health, chronic diseases and palliative care. Click here for the booklet.

BHB Deputy CEO, R Scott Pearman, commented: “BHB’s integration programme aims to improve the delivery of care for patients across BHB services and the wider healthcare system. A key part of the programme is the involvement of multiple stakeholders and patients in the planning of these improvements. I’m so very pleased to see the successful development and implementation of the integrated breast cancer care pathway. It reflects the work of 21 patients and 35 clinical colleagues, including oncologists, surgeons and radiologists. This is our first cancer care pathway, and work is already underway to complete a similar process for colon and prostate cancers.”

The development of integrated cancer care pathways within the BHB integration programme has been led by the Medical Director of Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, Dr Fosker, in collaboration with BHB executive sponsor, Mr Pearman, and the programme’s physician lead, Chief of Psychiatry, Dr Anna Neilson-Williams.

According to Dr Fosker, medical director at Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, breast cancer was selected as the first cancer to review due to its prevalence in Bermuda. In addition, the availability of most steps of the treatment path on the island makes it an ideal target for review, as it allows for the identification of potential improvements that can be made locally to positively impact patient outcomes. Dr Fosker further explains:

“Putting patients at the centre of the improvement process has been essential. By listening to their feedback about where the system challenged them on their breast cancer journey, we were able to identify areas for improvement and make direct changes to positively impact patient experience and outcomes. One common issue we heard was how long it took to get the next appointment or receive results. Reviewing the process showed us that changing communication and coordination methods could have a significant positive impact.

“To further enhance the patient experience, we have established a breast multidisciplinary team (MDT) that meets weekly. Comprising the Centre’s diagnostic imaging and radiologist, some of the Island’s breast surgeons, BHB pathologists, the Island’s oncologists and the Centre’s Cancer Navigator, this team reviews each patient’s breast cancer diagnoses and determines the best path forward. This approach departs from the previous method, where patients would receive a diagnosis and have to wait to see a surgeon and oncologist. The MDT approach reduces waiting times and ensures that multiple doctors have reviewed the patient’s cancer and agreed on the best next steps.

“While this does not eliminate the need for multiple appointments with different doctors, it was acknowledged that coordinating them can be overwhelming for patients. Therefore, both BHB and the Centre will provide a cancer navigator, a staff member who will assist doctors and patients in moving seamlessly from one-step to the next along the breast cancer pathway. It is the hope of the medical community that by making these changes, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our patients, and we remain committed to continuing to put their needs first.”

The booklet ‘Integrated Care in Bermuda: Understanding Breast Health’ can be found at bermudahospitals.bm and bchc.bm.

The Minister’s speech from the press conference can be read here.

3 May 2023 Home Page, News

Faster and more efficient laundry now in operation

Monday 27 February 2023: Bermuda Hospital Board’s upgraded laundry department has come through its testing phase with a clean bill of health.

CEO & President Michael Richmond commented: “Every single patient care area requires clean, sanitised laundry. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have an effective and efficient laundry service supplying the required linens, gowns, towels and other items in the delivery of patient care. In fact, about 6,000lbs of it is cleaned, dried and pressed every day at BHB.

“Prior to the upgrade, our laundry staff were hampered by old equipment that was prone to breaking down. They had to work with an infrastructure that hadn’t been properly upgraded in over 60 years. The ultimate beneficiary of the upgrade is patient care, so my thanks go to all involved in making this project a success and special appreciation for our laundry staff for all they do each day to help us deliver the highest quality and safest care to our patients.”

 

Laundry Manager Kizzy Philips gave special thanks to the laundry staff and the BIU: “We’ve had six months of the upgrade, and many years of working with old equipment and infrastructure. Taking us through to today, the laundry staff have been fantastic, and we couldn’t have asked for a better working partnership with the BIU. I’m excited to see a laundry facility that helps laundry staff support the clinical services across all our campuses. The new equipment makes a huge difference to our productivity and efficiency, and we are proud knowing that we are now meeting international laundry standards.”

Director of Hotel Services Jerome Swainson added: “The laundry processes all linens, gowns and clothes used by newborns through to those near the end of life, the curtains used across the hospital, microfibre cloths used by Environmental Services, as well lab coats and scrubs for staff. For safety and comfort patients and staff need clean laundry items constantly and we can now deliver this through a more efficient service.”

The project started in July 2022 and cost $6.6 million, in line with its original budget. The impact of the costs on BHB, however, was eased by a $1.3 million donation by a single donor through the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation (BHCF).

Executive Director of BHCF Kim Pratt noted: “We are very grateful to our donor, the Pritzker/Schwartz, Vlock family, who could see the importance of a modern laundry to the delivery of high quality patient care. The donor had originally reached out during COVID to see how they could help, but responded when they heard BHB needed to upgrade and expand the laundry facility. The donor stated that they know this would have a long-lasting effect. The following is a direct quote: ‘We love Bermuda and the hospital as it is such an important resource for the island we love so much.’”

Vice President of Hotel Services, Facilities and Property Management Danny Moore gave special thanks to the facilities staff and vendors working on the project: “Working with such old infrastructure is extremely challenging and this project was not without its surprises and challenges. It’s great credit to all our partners on the project and internal staff that we worked through them, and managed to keep to the budget. The new laundry is a credit to all involved in the project.”

About the BHB laundry and upgrade project:

What is cleaned in the BHB laundry?

All linens, blankets, curtains, clothes, such as patient gowns and babywear, staff scrubs, microfibre cloths and washcloths. About 6,000lbs of laundry is cleaned, dried and pressed every day.

Which areas does laundry support?

All BHB facilities, including KEMH, MWI, group homes, Agape House and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre

Number of laundry staff

33 including full time, part time and casual

What new equipment is in the new laundry?

  • Six new washing machines – one 450lb machine, five 160lb machines and one smaller 55lb machine for baby linens and scrubs. There used to be three machines.
  • Six new dryers – five 200lb dryers and one 80lb dryer. There used to be three dryers.
  • Two new folding machines.

What were the infrastructure upgrades?

  • Changes to infrastructure allow a workflow that means soiled linen is sorted in a separate area away from clean linen
  • New hot and cold water lines, steam piping and exhaust ductwork
  • Old boiler room demolished, with new building to house the new hot water system to allow the washers to operate more efficiently
  • New infrastructure design makes repairs and maintenance easier, with access to the back of the dryers, for example
  • New fire suppression system

Project partners:

  • Greymane
  • BAC
  • Noesis
  • ABM
  • Direct Machinery
  • Bermuda Commercial Laundry
  • Especially for You Laundry

History of laundry renovations:

  • The part of the hospital the laundry is in was built in the 1960s and there have been no major infrastructure upgrades since then
  • There was an upgrade in 2004 (18 years ago) when three new 175lb dryers and two new 275lb washers were purchased along with a new air conditioning system, and upgraded steam supply and electrical distribution system
  • In 2008 (14 years ago), a large 450lb washer, two folding machines and new software were purchased
27 February 2023 Home Page, News

BHB looks forward to PEARL benefits

Tuesday 3 January 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board today outlined what’s in store for the new electronic medical record (EMR), called PEARL (Patient Electronic & Administrative Records Log) and reviewed the project’s success.

Cerner at-the-elbow support helped trouble shoot with staff

PEARL is a replacement for a number of BHB systems, most notably BHB’s main clinical system, which was so old, it was no longer supported by the vendor. Replacing it addressed a critical risk to care, but the full investment in PEARL has been made to catalyse improvements in care across BHB and for Bermuda.

PEARL went live on 29 October 2022 and is now used in all clinical and support areas, and within the billing areas of Finance. Two months following go-live, BHB is transitioning from the implementation phase to a period of optimisation, in which improvements are made based on experience using the system to better work for staff and patients. Future phases are also planned, and this includes the introduction of a portal for patients to view their medical information.

CEO & President Michael Richmond comments: “PEARL is a national investment that has been significantly funded by internal cost savings at BHB, with our capped revenue being flat for the last four years. Our focus has been on ensuring the implementation was successful and that patient quality and safety is enhanced through its use. We are taking this moment to reflect on the programme and look forward to what is ahead. EMR implementations are extremely complex projects and research indicates more than 50% of similar implementations either fail or fail to be properly utilised(1). Given the level of investment required, failure or significant and costly delays were not an option and BHB staff along with our partners have worked tirelessly for over 18 months to deliver the system effectively.

Cerner subject matter expert helps BHB nurses through go-live

“The biggest thank you must go to our staff, who have shouldered a vast amount of work, from design and build workshops to extensive training, and adjusting to a new way of working. They have been working on this project since April 2021, and continued through some of the most devastating COVID waves.

“Although the work leading up to and including go-live was always anticipate to be the hardest part of the PEARL project, this is really just the beginning. We have addressed most of the issues that emerged as we went live with the new system, and our work now focuses on where PEARL can be optimised and improved for staff and patients to create value in the system.”

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller adds: “We did everything required to ensure go-live succeeded, but what happens next excites us the most, not just in the coming weeks and months, but throughout the ten year contracted term. We are very appreciative of the community’s understanding as PEARL has gone live. Improving the care and experience of patients at the very heart of this project, but it does take time. We started looking at how to realise the benefits of PEARL this year, and so we are ready to act and ensure our community gets the best value possible out of the new system.”

The EMR implementation had to navigate numerous COVID waves, including the delta wave which was by far the hardest period for BHB, as well as a hurricane in the countdown to go-live. The project adapted to ensure key milestones were met, and staff had increased support for the implementation to succeed. Activities and issues were all reported through a project governance structure up to the Board.

  • About $1.3 million was saved in costs by nearly all the design and build workshops and EMR meetings (over 1,000 meetings in 2021 alone) being hosted remotely, due to COVID-19.
  • The go-live date was reassessed once, moving from the beginning of September to the end of October, based on readiness assessments in early summer 2022. This was mostly due to the impact of COVID throughout the project’s duration.
  • Additional resources were recruited to support the project as COVID impacted internal resources and increased reliance on partners.

PEARL super user helps acute care unit as PEARL goes live

Chief Hospital Information Officer Keltie Jamieson explains: “Right now, we are going into a period of PEARL optimisation. This is when we take the experience of actually working in the system to identify any additional adjustments and actions to support better processes and staff utilisation of the system. We are also moving towards future phases which will see other parts of PEARL go-live, such as the patient portal. Beyond that, it is about using PEARL every day to make improvements and that continues for the next ten years. We look forward to sharing more in 2023.”

Chief Financial Officer Arthur Ebbin comments: “Every effort has been made to ensure we had a successful go-live so that the project remained affordable. We’ve had a tight governance and accountability framework in place, reporting through senior committees up to the Board. We have also been proactive in getting the support our staff needed to succeed, and worked hard to make the cost savings needed to pay for the project. The major contract with Cerner is paid over ten years, so it is a lot in total, but is affordable for us over time. EMRs help make savings too and the work now takes place to ensure this happens. Cost savings are achieved through system integration, automation of processes, digitisation of records, more efficient services reduced delays and duplications, and the retirement of a number of legacy systems that PEARL replaces.”

EMR background information:

Hospital Incident Command Centres were set up at KEMH and MWI to ensure issues were quickly logged and addressed

Who is the main vendor for BHB’s electronic medical record PEARL?
The main contract is with Cerner Oracle who is the vendor for the electronic medical record, Millennium. The contract runs over ten years to 2030 and includes implementation and operational costs. Phase 1 of the project saw the successful go-live across all BHB locations and services. Future phases of the project will include the implementation of already-paid-for packages, including a patient portal.

How was Cerner Millennium selected?
A competitive request-for-proposal was issued in 2018. Over 100 staff helped evaluation bids and the recommended vendor then went to the Board for approval.

Who are the other vendors associated with the implementation project?
BHB had the assistance of two main vendors, S&P Consultants and Channel 3, who had extensive electronic medical record implementation experience. They provided design, build & project advice, on-the-ground-support, as well as governance and assurance checks to ensure we were ready for a successful go-live. Channel 3 also assisted with a benefits realisation process to help us get the best value from PEARL after go-live. There were a few vendors who helped with system interfaces. Contracts for these vendors went through a competitive selection process.

BHB IT staff ensured the network remained stable and that staff could access the new system as they logged on for the first time

How has BHB paid for the electronic medical record?
EMR implementations are known to be complex and challenging, even outside of pandemics. BHB has managed most of the costs of the project within its capped revenue budget set by Government, which has remained static for the last four years, supported by a programme of cost savings over multiple years. There was one $4.5 million grant for government that was reallocated from an MWI capital project to the EMR in 2021, but there have been no other additional grants or supplemental payments.

How much will the EMR actually cost in total to BHB?
There are many cost savings anticipated, including efficiencies and the retirement of multiple older systems. The net cost of the project over ten years is expected to be in the order of $30 million.

PATI listed contracts in 2022 related to the EMR:

  • To support BHB staff, especially with delays and resource issues caused by COVID, BHB entered into contracts with two main support consultants, S&P and Channel 3. Contracts in the PATI listing 2022 were for this support, with contracts for just over $3 million.
  • Work with other vendors related to building interfaces that were needed to connect to PEARL accounted for $513,000.
  • An executive administrator managed all the meetings and arrangements for the EMR implementation project and go-live of $110,000.
  • On-the-ground support and training from our overseas partners in the period leading up to and just after go-live cost $1.7 million. This includes the Hamilton Princess Contract in the 2022 PATI listing, although other hotels and accommodations were used. This was less than the expected $3 million budgeted for on-island support throughout the project as most pre-go-live meetings were held remotely. Intensive in-person support is critical for the success of any EMR go-live, so could not be done remotely. Staff must be fully trained ahead of go-live and needed subject matter experts immediately available to trouble-shoot issues so that care can continue to be safely delivered through the go-live transition. Unlike hospitals overseas, BHB cannot transfer care or emergency services to another hospital during a transition, so continuity of safe services was even more critical. On-the-ground support included over 160 additional people on-island over the go-live period.

Footnote:

(1) Barriers to Electronic Health Record System Implementation and Information Systems Resources: A Structured Review by Jaillah Mae Gesulga, Alamarie Berjame, Kristelle Sheen Moquiala, Adrian Galido

 

3 January 2023 Home Page, News

BHB COVID update

Wednesday 28 December 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board today reports that two of its long term care units are being quarantined due to a number of positive COVID test results in the resident population. There have been both resident and staff positives. As per BHB protocols, all staff in the affected units have been tested.

Family members are being contacted and visitation will be paused until the quarantine is lifted. Anyone who is thinking of visiting a long term care unit resident should call the unit before attending.

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller comments: “We have very well established processes to follow when residents in our long term care units test positive that protect residents, staff and families. While many COVID protocols have relaxed, we have continued with regular surveillance testing for residents on long term care units, as well as testing all patients admitted to acute care areas both at KEMH and MWI. This is a reminder that COVID, along with flu and other respiratory infections are circulating in Bermuda and we still need to protect the people most vulnerable to complications.”

BHB refers queries about exact COVID figures for Bermuda to the Ministry of Health.

28 December 2022 Home Page, News

Three babies born on Christmas Day

Sunday 25 December 2022: There were no babies due to be born on Christmas Day this year, but three special Christmas bundles of joy had arrived by the afternoon.

Troyleta Franklin and Bilal Binns were not expecting a Christmas arrival for their baby. Everything was in place for Christmas day and Santa had delivered all his gifts ready for their children, but a new baby brother decided to join his siblings Jayden Binns and Ari Cannionier early on Christmas morning. Lucki was born at 4:26am at 7lbs and 9.1oz.

“All the presents were ready for our Christmas morning,” Ms Franklin said. “It was so unexpected.”

Photographed from left to right: Troyleta and Lucki, Jayden, Bilal and Ari

 

Daryl Dill and Staphen Dill were enjoying Christmas morning with daughter, Aren Dill who is five.

“We had finished opening gifts on Christmas morning, but then there were clear signs I had to get to hospital,” explained Mrs Dill. “We thought we were going to have a regular Christmas as the baby was due on 2 January.”

Instead, Justice Rose Dill was born at 9:32am at 6lb and 12oz.

“Her middle name was given by her sister,” said Mrs Dill. “Aren has been calling her little sister ‘Rosie’ for many months.”

Photographed from left to right: Daryl, Justice, Staphen.

A third baby was born in the afternoon. Rebecca Ezekiel and George Scott welcomed a son on Christmas Day at 3:17pm, weighing 7lbs.

Maternity nurses decorated the baby cribs so that every baby born on Christmas Day felt celebrated.

25 December 2022 Home Page, News