O positive blood donors urgently needed

Thursday 1 December 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is asking people with O positive blood to donate as stocks of this blood type are running low. Donors and potential donors are asked to call 236-5067 to make an appointment.

If you are unsure about your blood type but are willing to donate, please contact the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre at (441) 236-5067 or blood.donor@bhb.bm, or by WhatsApp at (441) 533-9553.

Appointments are preferred, although walk-ins are accepted.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is located at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 2:30pm, and on Friday from 8:30am to 1pm. It is closed on weekends and public holidays.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre team thanks the community for their kind assistance in ensuring they can continue to save lives.

More information about blood donation is available online at bermudahospitals.bm/be-a-donor/.

1 December 2022 Home Page, News

BHB shines green light for mental health awareness

Wednesday 30 November 2022: Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) encourages the public to be joyous and celebratory this holiday season.

“Positive thoughts engender positive feelings, which promote good mental health,” said Preston Swan, vice president of MWI clinical operations and acting chief operating officer for Bermuda Hospitals Board. “This December, we will again light the outside of our sister facility, King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s Acute Care Wing, in green.”

This year’s theme for mental health awareness is Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Bermuda Priority.

“Making mental health and mental wellbeing a Bermuda priority is not only a matter for the island’s mental health professionals,” said Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams. “We can all reflect and recognise where we may be feeling stressed or pressured, and take small steps to address our mental health, particularly considering the challenges of recent years.”

Here are a few measures you can take, particularly during this season, to support your mental wellness.

  • Go outside and be with nature. Disconnect from devices.
  • Don’t get caught up trying to create a perfect holiday setting or experience. Set small, meaningful goals with family or friends and connect where you can.
  • If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to a professional who can help. Seeking support is not a sign of weakness.

“We encourage you to contact MWI, your GP or one of the many mental health professionals available within our community if you need support,” said Dr Neilson-Williams. “You are not alone.”

The green light for mental health awareness will start at dusk tomorrow, Thursday 1 December 2022.

If you need assistance, please call the MWI Acute Community Mental Health Service at 249-3432. For serious mental health crises at any time of the day or night, call 239-1111.

 

30 November 2022 Home Page, News

BHB Traffic Advisory for Monday 21 November 2022

No through traffic at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on Monday 21 November

Thursday 17 November 2022: There will be no through traffic at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital from Point Finger Road to Berry Hill Road all day on Monday 21 November 2022.

All people needing to access services in the Acute Care Wing (ACW) should enter the hospital campus from Point Finger Road and use the visitor parking there.

All people needing to access services in General Wing should enter the hospital campus via Berry Hill Road and use the visitor parking there. Pedestrian access to the General Wing will be at the ambulance bay at the former Emergency Department or via the ACW main entrance.

The access restrictions are due to two separate crane lifts of heavy equipment on the campus.

For your safety and the safety of others, please comply with directions of personnel at each site.

17 November 2022 Home Page, News

PEARL Implementation Update

Sunday 13 November 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board today provided an update on its progress with the implementation of its first BHB-wide electronic medical record system, called PEARL (Patient Electronic & Administrative Records Log).

Chief Executive Officer & President Dr Michael Richmond noted that the first two weeks had not been without their challenges, but that activity was beginning to return to normal.

He said: “The success of the implementation has been carried by our staff, external physicians and our partners, who prepared all they could, then have worked through the early expected issues that a major system implementation experiences. It has been a true team effort, as PEARL connects all parts of the hospital from pharmacy, diagnostics, finance and support areas to emergency, acute and critical care at all campuses.

“The good news is that we are on track and, after two weeks of having a slow down in our planned and outpatient activity, services will be running at normal capacity from Monday, including the number of elective surgeries. These are still early days, but issues have been managed, staff are mastering the new system, and we wanted the community to be fully informed about our progress.”

Despite a planned slow down in planned and outpatient activity, over the first two weeks after go-live there were still 3,267 encounters in ambulatory care (outpatient clinics and diagnostics), 150 surgeries (elective and emergency) and 20 babies born. In areas where activity could not be controlled, the normal activity levels were experienced. There were 1,011 people who attended the Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, and 142 admissions to an inpatient ward. This reflects KEMH and MWI wards.

In the Emergency Department, the average length of time between arrival and discharge did increase in line with expectations in the first week, but has gradually decreased since then (see data below).

Dr Richmond added: “I would like to extend my appreciation to the community for their understanding. We know it has been a challenge at times for patients in Emergency with longer average stays than normal, and elective procedures were reduced in the first two weeks. But the great promise of PEARL is to that as we work through this period we will be able to improve our care, smooth transitions, and use the system to help us deliver a better, safer care experience.”

PEARL went live in the early hours of Saturday 29 October, when information was transferred and then validated. Staff in different departments started using the system from the early afternoon.

The following is the ED length of stay (from arrival to discharge) for each day following go-live. The average length of stay up to 29 October in ED was 198 minutes (3 hours and 18 minutes).

Emergency average length of stay per day (midnight to midnight) in minutes

  • Saturday 29 October (partial day): 294
  • Sunday 30 October: 405
  • Monday 31 October: 442
  • Tuesday 1 November: 358
  • Wednesday 2 November: 485
  • Thursday 3 November: 366
  • Friday 4 November: 285
  • Saturday 5 November: 289
  • Sunday 6 November: 239
  • Monday 7 November: 289
  • Tuesday 8 November: 190
  • Wednesday 9 November: 160

 

13 November 2022 Home Page, News

O positive blood donors needed

Wednesday 9 November 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is asking people with O positive blood to donate. Donors and potential donors are asked to call 236-5067 to make an appointment.

BHB Consultant Haematologist Dr Eyitayo Fakunle said: “We are in need of O positive blood due to a recent emergency that made our stock lower than we would have anticipated.”

If you are unsure about your blood type but are willing to donate, please contact the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre at (441) 236-5067 or blood.donor@bhb.bm, by WhatsApp at (441) 533-9553.

Appointments are preferred, although walk-ins are accepted.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is located at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 2:30pm, and on Friday from 8:30am to 1pm. It is closed on weekends and public holidays, including this Friday 11 November.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre team thanks the community for their kind assistance in ensuring they can continue to save lives.

More information about blood donation is available online at bermudahospitals.bm/be-a-donor/.

9 November 2022 Home Page, News

Local newborn makes BHB history

Thursday 3 November 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is happy to announce the birth of the first Bermudian since the implementation of its electronic medical record. The Patient Electronic & Administrative Records Log (PEARL) is the name of the system which went live at both the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) over the weekend.

Frances Ivy Edwards was born at 5:35 on Monday morning to parents Thomas and Kaitlin Edwards. Her birth represents the first Bermudian on the island who will never have had a paper BHB medical record. Her entire record will be digital.

“There was hospital-wide excitement at Frances’ birth,” said BHB CEO & President Dr Michael Richmond. “We consider her our PEARL. Her birth is a historic event for BHB and we are pleased her parents have consented to us sharing the news, her name and photos.”

“I had read the article about the hospital moving to electronic record keeping in the media and thought it was a big step and a positive move for the hospital and the island,” said new mother Kaitlin Edwards. “But I never really thought about what it might mean for my child. It is exciting to recognise that she’s the first to have a paperless medical record at the hospital. I was born here, my husband was born here and so was our son, but she’s not just the first in our family to have a digital birth record, she’s the first in the island. It’s a fun fact she can always be proud of.”

 

 

3 November 2022 Home Page, News

Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute thanks Markel Bermuda Limited

Monday 31 October 2022: Bermuda-based Markel Bermuda Limited has long held that good mental health is vitally important. In fact, a gift from the insurance giant to Bermuda Hospitals Board’s (BHB) Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic helped improve MWI’s service offerings.

“The theme of World Mental Health Day, which was celebrated on 10 October, was Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Bermuda Priority,” said Preston Swan, BHB acting chief operating officer and VP of MWI clinical operations.

“Markel Bermuda Limited’s donation to us certainly demonstrates that the company already has this firmly established in its culture. We not only thank them, but also salute them,” he added.

Markel Bermuda donated audio-visual equipment to MWI during the pandemic so treatment for clients requiring mental health services was not interrupted. The gift also allowed MWI inpatients to meet virtually with their families and loved ones.

“The equipment proved invaluable,” said Mr Swan. “It allowed our clients to interact virtually with their clinical teams. In fact, in many cases the virtual meetings were preferred by clients and have continued.”

“We recognise that for many, there is a stigma associated with physically attending MWI,” said BHB Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams. “The Markel Bermuda gift gave our clients a choice in accessing our services. Being able to attend their sessions from their homes was a welcome change for many of them and in several instances boosted their spirits.

“This is particularly significant as clients were largely negatively impacted by the stresses of being in lockdown and the pandemic itself. That they were able to continue their therapies in that climate is important.

“Equally valuable was that our inpatients were able, thanks to the equipment, to maintain connections with their families and loved ones during the lockdown and post lockdown as, out of necessity, we reduced visitation considerably.

“And the equipment, although specifically intended for use during the pandemic, continues to benefit clients as we still use it,” she added.

“It is heartening to learn that our gift has had this impact on MWI clients and staff,” said Markel Bermuda Limited HR Business Partner Sarah Randall. “At Markel, we recognise the importance of proactively attending to our mental health and certainly ascribe to the theme set for Mental Health Awareness in Bermuda this year – Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Bermuda Priority. We are pleased our gift has aided the community in this goal.”

31 October 2022 Home Page, News

BHB prepares for PEARL’s implementation

Thursday 27 October 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today provided an update to the community about its first BHB-wide electronic medical record system, which goes live in the early morning of Saturday 29 October. The system has been called PEARL (Patient Electronic & Administrative Records Log) by staff.

Nurse on an acute care ward with a ‘workstation on wheels’ that can be used in patient rooms

PEARL is an electronic medical record system that makes patient information, from medical history to the latest physician notes and test results, immediately available to those who are involved in a patient’s care. This information will no longer be on paper or limited to fragmented systems. This means BHB staff caring for patients won’t have to wait for paper records to be delivered, check multiple systems for key information and results, or wait for information that might not have been filed yet. PEARL makes it easier to avoid duplications and delays because everything a clinician needs is immediately available in one place, and always up to date.

CEO & President Michael Richmond notes: “We are preparing for an exciting and significant transition in how we work. A big thank you must go to our staff across BHB for their hard work. PEARL’s implementation rests on the shoulders of hundreds of staff involved in designing, building and testing the system since the project started in April 2021, and over 1,400 staff who
are attending training, even as they meet their duties as care providers.

Staff involved in integrated testing earlier this year

“Our focus now is ensuring BHB maintains services safely throughout the go-live. There will likely be a couple of weeks where staff will be getting used to new processes, and we will run slightly slower than normal, but our ability to use PEARL will quickly become more sure and faster each day. Once we are used to using the system, the opportunities for improvements are going to help us soar.

“Going live with PEARL is just the beginning. PEARL is a tool our staff will use to deliver what they strive to do each day – the best possible levels of care and the best patient outcomes, something of which Bermuda can be truly proud.”

Key information about how BHB is managing PEARL’s go-live:

  • PEARL will be used across all BHB services – at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, and across all BHB group homes
  • All BHB services will continue throughout the go-live process, but it will initially take staff a bit longer to complete tasks as they put their training into practice
  • Elective activity (for example, non-urgent surgeries and outpatient appointments) will continue throughout, but there will be a phased reduction in work – at 50% of normal level in the first week after go-live and 75% of normal level in the second week after go-live. This will give staff some breathing room as they get used to using PEARL, minimising any potential patient safety or care risks. This is a best practice for implementing this kind of system, and follows advice from other hospitals and Cerner on how to successfully manage the transition
  • Emergency services will be open, but patients with minor conditions may experience longer waits. People are advised to see their GP if they have minor issues or need help managing their chronic illnesses
  • Additional Cerner employees and BHB staff who are PEARL super users will be positioned in departments, supporting staff ‘at the elbow’ in the first two weeks after go-live
  • A multi-level command centre structure is in place for the first two weeks in case there are issues that can’t be resolved at the department level, but need quick and effective resolution
  • After 10 November, we anticipate normal levels of elective activity will be restored, including surgeries

Chief of Staff Wesley Miller explains: “I am very proud to work with our staff as we prepare for this implementation. PEARL is going to transform what is possible in delivering the very best in safe, quality care across BHB. A system implementation of this size and complexity isn’t easy, but the reward of working through it will be in the enhanced ability to improve patient care and outcomes, which is at the heart of all we do.”

Chief Hospital Information Officer Keltie Jamieson adds: “Our focus over the next few weeks is on maintaining safe services as staff adjust. There will be a lot of on-the-ground support in departments as well as escalation processes for issues as our hard-working staff get used to something new. Patients and visitors in the first two weeks will see additional people in bright t-shirts who are the in-department support. We have done all we can to test and test PEARL again, but issues are normal in any major system implementation. The key is having robust structures to escalate and resolve them, which we have.

“There is so much to look forward to once we are through this implementation period, but step one is a successful implementation. That will give us the strong foundation we need to use PEARL as a tool of constant improvement in our pursuit of excellence.”

Click here for more information about PEARL

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Editor’s Notes – PEARL’s development to date:

  • PEARL will replace multiple BHB systems, and was necessary as BHB’s main clinical system was old and no longer going to be supported by the vendor
  • Cerner was selected via a competitive process involving about 100 BHB staff starting in 2018, with final approval in 2019 from the Board
  • The project was due to start early in 2020, but was postponed for a year due to the pandemic
  • The electronic medical record project started on 1 April 2021
  • The system was designed and built by the vendor, Cerner, in partnership with over 350 BHB staff
  • There have been two extensive rounds of integrated testing, involving BHB staff who ran patient scenarios to test all parts of the system
  • Although the project was undertaken because BHB’s main clinical system is being retired by the vendor, electronic medical records are the international standard of care. With all information in one place and clinicians across BHB able to share real-time orders and notes, care processes – such as a patient visiting emergency and being triaged, tested, diagnosed and admitted to an inpatient ward – can take place more efficiently
27 October 2022 Home Page, News

Public Advisory: No through road vehicular or pedestrian traffic at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on Wednesday 26 October 2022

25 October 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public that there will be no through traffic on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) campus between Point Finger and Berry Hill Roads on Wednesday 26 October 2022 from noon to 4pm.

A crane will be in the road outside the old Emergency Department lifting materials for service elevator renovation.

Emergency vehicles and people attending the Emergency Department should use the Point Finger Road entrance. Ambulances will enter and exit on Point Finger Road. KEMH and the visitor parking lots will still be accessible from both Point Finger Road (Acute Care Wing) and Berry Hill Road (General Wing and Agape House). Traffic will not be able to travel between the General Wing lobby roundabout and Berry Hill Road.

Pedestrians accessing the hospital from the Berry Hill Road side will be impacted. For your safety and the safety of others, please use caution and adhere to the barriers, signage and directions of the security officers.

Bermuda Hospitals Board apologises to the public for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

-ends-

25 October 2022 Home Page, News

BHB Primary Stroke Centre celebrates Stroke Awareness Week

 

Monday 24 October 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) urges the public to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke. Saturday 29 October is World Stroke Day, and this week BHB’s Primary Stroke Centre team wants to increase community awareness of this condition, which is on the rise in Bermuda.

“Every second counts when treating someone who is experiencing a stroke,” said BHB consultant neurologist Dr Kehinde Kolapo. “We really need everyone on the island to recognise when someone is having a stroke, and to get them to the hospital right away.

Signs of Stroke Illustration“BE FAST. These two words can really help everyone remember the symptoms.

“B is for balance. People who become dizzy or lose their sense of balance could be experiencing a stroke.

“E is for eyes. A stroke may cause sudden blurred vision.

“F is for face. If one side of the face starts to droop, it could signify a stroke.

“A is for arms. Sudden weakness in an arm, or a leg, is another symptom of stroke.

“S is for speech. Those experiencing a stroke may have slurred or unintelligible speech, or they may not be able to speak.

“T is for time, which means you need to get the person to the Emergency Department as soon as possible.”

“There are some types of stroke for which we can administer a drug that bursts the blood clot, effectively ending the stroke,” said Dr Kolapo, “but there is a very short window of time in which it is safe to do this.”

BHB’s Primary Stroke Centre attained distinction certification from Accreditation Canada in April for its acute stroke and inpatient rehabilitation service standards. Its committed team of professionals is passionate about not only providing the best care to patients, but also decreasing the number of people who experience strokes.

“We are tackling prevention by educating the public,” said VP KEMH Clinical Operations Sita Ingram, a member of the Primary Stroke Centre Working Group. “BE FAST is the message we need every resident to know and adhere to.

“Free wallet-sized BE FAST cards are available this week at the Bermuda Diabetes Association, and the reception desks at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.”

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller said: “We also draw the public’s attention to the full Accreditation Canada report on the Primary Stroke Centre’s distinction certification. It is available on our website at bermudahospitals.bm.”

Click here to access the report.

Accreditation Canada conducted an onsite survey at BHB from 28 February to 3 March 2022, interviewing staff, stroke patients, their families and Primary Stroke Centre partner organisations.

BHB CEO and President Dr Michael Richmond said: “Stroke distinction certification is the highest commendation a stroke centre can receive in the Accreditation Canada system, and this aligns with BHB’s vision to pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud.”

The Accreditation Canada Stroke Distinction surveyors highlighted the areas below in their report as examples of successes within BHB Primary Stroke Centre services:

  • leadership and organisation support
  • knowledgeable and committed staff
  • collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHMI)
  • alignment of the integrated stroke programme plan with the organisation’s strategic plan
  • community partnerships
  • communication and promotion of the stroke programme

 

Primary Stroke Centre History

Recognising in 2018 that strokes had become an epidemic on the island, BHB took steps to address the problem. In July 2019, BHB launched its Primary Stroke Centre, part of a clinical affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International. Since that time, stroke patient outcomes have significantly improved in Bermuda, due to a more clearly defined process for managing stroke patients, together with a robust national campaign highlighting the signs and symptoms of stroke and the importance of attending the hospital immediately.

At its peak, 14% of those who experienced a stroke were able to receive a clot-busting drug that increased their chances of fully recovering. Not all stroke patients are eligible to receive the drug.

In 2021, then Primary Stroke Centre Director Dr Francene Gayle said: “This figure is impressive and is almost double the 7% average of primary stroke centres in the US.”

BHB’s Primary Stroke Centre also made history with its first trans-oceanic mechanical thrombectomy case. In this instance, a local patient with a major blockage in a major artery of the brain was diagnosed and airlifted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital within 17 hours. The patient received lifesaving thrombectomy surgery and is likely the first in the world to have experienced the trans-oceanic service.

24 October 2022 Home Page, News