BHB updates community on Electronic Medical Record Programme

Wednesday 29 December 2021: BHB today updates the community on its Electronic Medical Record Programme, which aims to replace an old, outdated clinical system that is no longer supported by the company, with the Cerner Millennium electronic medical record (EMR).

The project officially kicked off in April this year, after a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. First announced in the budget debate speech given by the Minister in March 2020, the integrated EMR at BHB will give each patient one record, no matter which BHB service they use, helping reduce duplication, delays and improve coordination of care, and access to full information for the patient and clinical team. It has the potential to have greater connectivity outside of the hospital.

Throughout 2021, about 350 staff members have been involved in the project in over 1,000 EMR workshops and meetings.

Michael Richmond, CEO & President, comments: “BHB staff and physicians have been working hard since April 2021 in order to implement our first integrated EMR. We appreciate that they have been keeping this project moving even as we have gone through the waves of the pandemic. The pressure of time is on us as our current clinical system, also from Cerner, is old and no longer supported. Implementing a full EMR as the solution will help us upgrade, and meet the standards of care expected in hospitals around the world. EMRs are a tool for staff to use in the delivery of care that puts the patient at the heart of all we do, it helps us in our mission to deliver the highest quality and safest care each day.”

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller is one of the co-executive sponsors of the project. He explains: “Clinicians will use the EMR to write up their notes, review test results, make diagnoses, make referrals, prescribe medications and communicate with other people in the care team, or to other departments involved in a patient’s care. One patient, one record, wherever you go in BHB.

“It actively encourages safe care because of the safety alerts built into the system, which help clinicians make timely decisions. Someone with clinical indicators that suggest sepsis or stroke, for instance, can be immediately flagged: these are conditions in which a fast therapeutic response is critical to the outcome of patients. Medication alerts can be flagged that stop errors in doses or contraindications with other medications the patient is on.”

Bill Shields, Chief Financial Officer, is the other co-executive sponsor of the project: “We are so grateful to all the people working on this project to date as they managed the EMR commitment and the pandemic. Next year, starting in the Spring, over 1,000 staff in departments across BHB and all physicians who work within the hospital will be involved with training and testing, so the hardest part of the implementation is still ahead of us.

“We are aware that this is a big investment and would note that while we must replace an old clinical system, the EMR will replace many of our other systems, helping us integrate records with other actions such as scheduling, referrals, prescribing, and testing. Whilst the core cost of the implementation is about $30 million, when we go live we will save many millions of dollars in costs over time associated with the purchasing, updating and maintenance of many separate systems. The contract payment terms are over ten years. Of even more importance, however, is how the EMR will support our frontline staff as they strive to deliver the best care possible, and help BHB in its pursuit of excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud.”

Following an internal competition, BHB’s integrated EMR is now named ‘PEARL’ (Patients Electronic & Administrative Records Log) and will be used in all clinical, support and administrative areas across KEMH, MWI and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre after it goes live next year.

PEARL’s history
Cerner’s Millennium was selected as BHB’s EMR in an RFP back in May 2019, after a vendor search and selection process that started in late 2018. A full business case to implement an EMR to replace the old clinical suite and improve the delivery of care at BHB was approved by the Board in November 2019. After the initial planned start in 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic, the EMR programme at BHB launched in April 2021. PEARL is expected to go live in fall/winter of 2022, following a major testing and training schedule for all staff.

29 December 2021 Home Page, News

BHB COVID-19 Remembrance Tree

Thursday 9 December 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) this season has dedicated its Christmas tree to remember those we have lost to COVID-19.

“The tree has pride of place in the main lobby of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH),” said BHB CEO Michael Richmond. “This year we felt it was fitting for our tree to help heal and comfort our staff who have lost loved ones and patients, and the family and friends of the 106 persons who Bermuda has lost to the disease.”

Interested members of the public can request a pre-cut ornament from BHB and decorate it in memory of a family member or loved one who they lost to the disease. When completed, decorated ornaments should be returned to KEMH to be hung on the COVID-19 Remembrance Tree.

“Many in our community are still grieving the loss of loved ones to this disease,” said BHB Acting Chief of Psychiatry Anna Neilson-Williams. “Taking time to remember the person and simple acts such as  writing a note are mechanisms that can help people heal emotionally.

“Our staff are human and they too have felt the toll of loss some in their families and many as they cared for their patients. Due to necessary visiting restrictions, in several instances they, and not the next of kin, were at the patient bedside until the end. Oftentimes even more difficult for our staff was having to console the next of kin who could not be present. We also recognise the large number of staff from overseas, who have worked tirelessly over the pandemic, many of whom have also suffered losses, and this complex cumulative aspect can take its toll.”

BHB has staff from well over 50 different countries. India is one of those, which was hit particularly hard by the virus. Some of our staff lost family in that wave. The COVID-19 Remembrance Tree is a way they can also find some solace.

The tree will have 106 silver baubles in honour of each life lost to COVID-19 in Bermuda, and 54 gold baubles representing all the countries BHB staff are from. Each gold ornament symbolises the friends and family our staff members lost to COVID-19 in their home countries.

Due to privacy laws and patient confidentiality, next of kin of those who passed due to COVID-19 have not been contacted directly by BHB to submit an ornament. We encourage everyone who learns about the COVID-19 Remembrance Tree to share the news widely.

If you want to collect an ornament, please contact cathy.stovell@bhb.bm for details on when they will be available. Unfortunately, in order to comply with privacy laws, no names or photos will be allowed in the ornament decorations.

9 December 2021 Home Page, News

BHB turns on green light for mental health awareness

Tuesday 30 November 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board will again turn on its green light next month in support of mental health awareness. Green is the colour chosen internationally to denote mental health. This year the theme of mental health awareness is to make nature a part of your everyday life.

For us in Bermuda, getting out in nature almost always involves getting out into greenery. Even if you take a leisurely walk along the beach you’ll be faced with wonderful green trees and grasses.

On Wednesday 1 December, Preston Swan, Acting Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI), will flick the switch at sister hospital King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH), lighting the outside of that facility green.

“COVID-19 has brought the importance of mental health to the fore,” said Mr Swan. “All of us who live in Bermuda recognise the increased stress and anxiety many of us have endured. As a mental health professional, I would urge you to spend some time in nature. It is scientifically proven to have a calming effect on the mind. When you add relaxed deep breathing, you may actually feel an improvement in your stress level and blood pressure.”

“As you pass by KEMH in the December night, please enjoy the green light. Green is a calming colour. Take stock of your mental health and think positive thoughts,” Mr Swan added.

“If you are feeling overwhelmed please reach out to a professional who can help – seeking support is not a sign of weakness,” said BHB Acting Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams. “You are not alone. We encourage you to contact MWI, your GP or one of the range of mental health professionals available within our community.”

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

30 November 2021 Home Page, News

BHB Mammography Unit accredited by the American College of Radiology

Tuesday 30 November 2021: The American College of Radiology (ACR) has renewed its accreditation of Bermuda Hospital Board’s Mammography Unit. Official notice of the award was received this month and is valid for the next three years.

The Mammography Unit has maintained accreditation with ACR since 1998.

“It is a testament that our staff are providing service at the highest standard to our local community,” said BHB Clinical Manager of Imaging Services Renee Butterfield. “It’s our mission to continuously strive to deliver the highest quality and the safest care to each of our patients every day.”

30 November 2021 Home Page, News

BHB celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities

Tuesday 23 November 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board’s (BHB) Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) invites the public to join in celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities on Friday 3 December 2021.

“Persons with disabilities are among the most vulnerable in our community,” said Preston Swan, BHB Acting COO and MWI VP Clinical Operations. “Last year we celebrated with a motorcade – which provided positive attention on our clients. It was so well received that we are doing it again this year.”

“We encourage the public to be as colourful and as noisy as possible cheering our motorcade of clients and staff from our Intellectual Disabilities Department as they travel their route,” said LeRoya Hardtman BHB Intellectual Disabilities Department supervisor and event organiser. “The clients truly enjoy the attention. Please bring your whistles and other noise makers, pom poms or other shows of support.”

The motorcade will follow a Police escort from MWI through Hamilton, along Point Finger Road to South Road and back to MWI. MWI clients will decorate many of the vehicles.

“The theme this year is Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era,” said Morrisa Rogers, BHB Clinical Director of the Intellectual Disabilities Department. “To this end we will be continuing to work with the Ministry on developing a National Intellectual Disabilities Plan that outlines how we can support those with intellectual disabilities and their families.”

“I join BHB in encouraging the public to come out and cheer on the motorcade,” said Tinee Furbert Minister of Social Development and Seniors. “The greater the numbers, the greater the show of support and the happier the clients and staff will be. Please make a note of the route and plan to be on it.”

The route: Depart New Dimensions at 11am. Turn right on Hermitage Road. Pass Elliott School. Right on Middle Road. Pass Somersfield Academy. Turn right onto Barker’s Hill, left onto Palmetto Road, left to Old Military Road and pass Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy. Turn right onto Palmetto Road then left onto Roberts Avenue to K Margaret Carter Centre and stop in the yard.

Leaving K Margaret Carter Centre turn left onto Frog Lane. Stay left then right onto Happy Valley Road. Pass Tomorrow’s Voices. Turn left on King Street, right on Reid Street, left on Front Street to Par-La Ville Road. Left on Church Street. Pass Ageing and Disabilities Office. Turn onto Cedar Avenue to Elliot Street. Pass Dellwood Middle School. Left on Parsons Road to Montpelier Road. Left to Middle Road down Flora Duffy Way (Corkscrew Hill). Pass KEMH on Point Finger Road. Right onto South Road back to MWI.

23 November 2021 Home Page, News

BHB to ease visiting restrictions starting Wednesday

Tuesday 2 November 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) will allow limited visitation beginning Wednesday 3 November 2021. This follows a period of highly restricted access to the hospitals due to the recent COVID-19 delta surge.

In tandem with increased visitation, BHB’s disaster alert level will be reduced on Wednesday from 3 to 2. Some elective surgeries are taking place this week, with a gradual increase planned over the next few weeks.

CEO Michael Richmond, MD, said: “This surge has been a long and brutal one for our patients, the community and our staff. Thankfully with fewer COVID-19 patients in the hospital we have been able to close down the satellite areas we created to manage the surge in hospitalisations. Those areas, and the employees who staffed them, have now returned to their normal purpose. We know this will come as a great relief to the patients whose surgeries had to be postponed while we dealt with the worst of the surge.”

Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson said: “While we’re not able to go back to normal quite yet, the steady decrease in COVID-19 hospitalisations and continued reduction in community cases mean we can relax our visiting restrictions.

“We know that seeing loved ones can be great for our patients’ mental and physical health. It can also positively contribute to patient safety and quality of care. Conversely, having to restrict visitation takes a toll on everyone involved – patients, their families and even our staff.”

In most cases, acute care and long-term care patients will be able to have one or two visitors at a time starting Wednesday. Patients in the Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre will be allowed to bring a support person. Complete details are listed below and on the BHB website at bermudahospitals.bm.

VP Clinical Operations (Acute and Ambulatory) Norma Smith added: “We are all looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the hospitals. The last two months have been very difficult for patients and their loved ones. Our nurses and aides have tried to provide as much comfort as possible, but there’s no real substitute for a visit from a family member or friend.

“Please remember, though, that we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to COVID-19. We ask that you follow all precautions when you visit – including masking, hand washing and physical distancing. Please also adhere to the restrictions that are still in place so we can ensure everyone remains safe.

“If you have any questions about visiting your loved ones, please contact their unit clinical manager, the nurse in charge or the evening/night clinical manager by calling 236-2345.”

Mrs Richardson said: “I’d like to say a special thank you to our patients and the community for bearing with the restrictions and supporting us through this extremely difficult and heart-breaking surge. My thoughts are with those of you who have lost loved ones since the start of the pandemic, and those who have fallen ill.”

The following precautions must be followed when visiting any BHB service:

  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in patient rooms
  • Visitors must maintain physical distancing at all times, including in patient rooms
  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infection will not be allowed to visit
  • If someone has travelled, they should not visit or attend the hospitals with loved ones until they have completed their Government post-travel testing requirements with all negative tests
  • For infection control purposes, visitors will not be allowed to use patient bathrooms and will need to use public restrooms on each floor
  • Overnight stays are not allowed at this time, other than in exceptional circumstances

 Visiting Restrictions from Wednesday 3 November 2021

 Acute care patients in the Acute Care Wing units (Ace Barber, Ascendant Partner Re, Catlin Lindo): Patients who are not on isolation can have up to two visitors in their room at any one time between noon and 8pm.

 Acute care patients in the General Wing (Curtis Unit): As these rooms are smaller and have other patients in them, acute care patients in the General Wing (Curtis Unit) can have one visitor in their room at any one time between noon and 8pm.

 Isolation patients: For patients on isolation due to a known infection of any kind, or in the first 24 hours of admission while waiting for results of the required COVID-19 test, two designated support people pre-identified by the patient will be able to visit for up to two hours per day.

 Intensive Care Unit: Designated support people may visit for two hours between 10am and 2pm, or 4pm and 8pm. Visitors must be on the ICU visitors list.

 Maternity:

  • One designated support person may stay up to 8 hours after the birth
  • If the mother is not discharged within 24 hours, the one designated support person will be allowed to visit between noon and 8pm
  • Doulas will be allowed for the birth with the designated support person
  • Doulas can make postpartum visits once per day between noon and 8pm

 Gosling Unit:

  • Up to two parents may visit minor patients
  • Adult patients can have up to two designated visitors between noon and 8pm

 Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute Acute Inpatient Care (adult, child and adolescent services):

  • Pre-identified support people can visit for 30 minutes each day between noon and 6pm
  • Support people must check in at the front desk
  • One person can visit at any one time and visitation will be in a public space, such as a family conference room

 Long Term Care (KEMH and MWI), including Group Homes:

  • One designated support person can visit for up to two hours each day between noon and 6pm. Isolated patients cannot have visitors.

 Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre:

  • Patients will be allowed one support person while in the Emergency Department (ED)
  • Vulnerable individuals and children will be allowed up to two support people
  • For end-of-life cases up to two support people can attend
  • Please note if someone dies in the ED or is brought to the hospital after passing away, only one person and one support person for that individual can attend. Up to three people can be in the ED family room. Other family and friends should not attend as there is not adequate space to gather safely, and the ability to offer viewings very limited.
2 November 2021 Home Page, News

College students learn how the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute treats wastewater

Friday 29 October 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) welcomed ten students from  Bermuda College’s Applied Science and Technology Department to tour the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) sewage treatment facility. BHB is celebrating Facilities Management Week and the students were invited to see first-hand how the plant works.

BHB Assistant Facilities Manager, Alan Gorbutt, heads the department at MWI and facilitated the event. “Connecting with our community is important to us and while a tour of a sewage treatment plant is unlikely to have wide appeal, we did feel it could be of interest to Bermuda College students who may be considering careers in the trades and engineering.”

Technical Education lecturer Joseph Weeks said the tour, conducted by Adam Diel, General Manager of Water Infrastructure Group (the company that manages the MWI plant), gave students a great opportunity to see the practical side of the theory they learned in the classroom.

“Mr Diel not only gave a technically informative tour, he also highlighted that this type of work is in demand with very few, if any, Bermudians in the field or training for it,” said Mr.  Weeks. “This knowledge is very valuable for our students and the exposure means they may now consider a career in a field that was previously not on their radar.”

The sewage treatment plant at MWI was installed in 2015. Approximately 2,500 gallons of waste water is treated there every 24 hours. Waste water from toilets, sinks, showers and the kitchen, are processed in the plant. Grease and some other solids are removed before the water enters the plant via traps that are cleaned separately.

For more information on the MWI sewage treatment plant download the fact sheet below. For more information on the work of the MWI Facilities Management team visit our YouTube video chats with Assistant Manager Alan Gorbutt and supervisor Kenneth Simmons.

MWI Sewage Treatment Plant Information Sheet – OCT2021

 

29 October 2021 Home Page, News

BHB moves to Disaster Alert Level 3

Friday 22 October 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board today confirmed it has reduced its alert level from 4 to 3, in response to the reduction in COVID-19 patients needing critical, emergency and acute care services. This is a cautionary move, as there are still people in hospital with COVID-19, and one overflow ICU is still open. Visiting restrictions will remain in place for this alert level, as will the suspension in routine elective surgeries, but preparations are underway for a gradual relaxation if numbers continue to decline.

BHB CEO Dr Michael Richmond comments: “This has been a very difficult period for our staff. Much was asked, much was given and we have a deep appreciation for their efforts. We are all hoping for a period to gradually recuperate. I would, on behalf of all our staff, want to thank the many donors who sponsored meals for our staff. Not only did you help people under immense pressure, but you gave us a feeling of connection with our community, a sense of being supported, that helped us through an extremely challenging time. Thank you.

“While I know people want to visit their loved ones as soon as possible, or have their planned routine surgeries, we are moving cautiously at this alert level. Our staff are recovering, especially those who worked directly or in support of acute, emergency and critical care areas. We also have an overflow ICU open, which is usually a post-anaesthetic care unit for surgery. It feels very much like the period immediately after a major storm at BHB – there is some restoration needed, and we need to be sure that the worst is past before we return to more normal functions.

“Thank you again for your support and understanding.”

22 October 2021 Home Page, News

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre resumes normal hours

Monday 18 October 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board announced today a resumption of normal operating hours at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC). Effective Tuesday 19 October hours will return to 2pm-10pm on weekdays. Weekend hours did not change and remain 9am-9pm. . Last patient registration will be at 9:45pm during the weekdays and 8:45pm Saturday and Sunday.

X-ray service at the UCC will resume on Monday 18 October and continue as it did previously – on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays during opening hours.

“We urge those with minor injuries and illnesses that are not COVID-19 related to attend the UCC,” said Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency. “The UCC should not be used to replace the care of your GP. Where possible, individuals should seek care first from their GP. In instances where this is not possible, patients should follow up with their GP after their UCC visit.”

18 October 2021 Home Page, News

Mental Health Clinic piloted at Hamilton Health Centre

Monday 18 October 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) in collaboration with the Department of Health is piloting a mental health clinic in Hamilton.

Located in the Department of Health’s Hamilton Health Centre on Victoria Street, the Mental Health Clinic started on Friday 8 October. The weekly service will continue on Fridays from 9am-noon.

BHB Acting Chief of Psychiatry, Dr Anna Neilson-Williams stated: “We are committed to bringing mental health services closer to those who need it and in settings where clients will feel more relaxed. In this regard, the Hamilton Health Centre is an ideal venue for the Mental Health Clinic. We are committed to protecting and promoting good mental health and well-being for all our patients.”

Currently BHB provides 2 nurses for the service, which includes mental health screenings, assessments, consultations and treatment.  As the pilot progresses, it is anticipated that a psychiatrist and psychiatric resident physician will join in providing mental health support.

Dr Neilson-Williams said: “Mental health support will be available to anyone who benefits from existing public health services at the Hamilton Health Centre including walk-ins and new referrals. In addition, existing Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) clients can also be scheduled for appointments.  Persons can be referred or self-present to the mental health clinic where they will be triaged.”

BHB Deputy CEO R Scott Pearman said: “This service aligns with BHB’s strategic plan to integrate healthcare services and the Ministry of Health’s Health Integration Strategy by providing mental health services in established healthcare settings.

“Our aim is to integrate with community-based providers to deliver mental health care and support in non-institutional settings. Embedding the Mental Health Clinic in the Hamilton Health Centre provides its clients better access to these services in a confidential and neutral setting.”

Earlier this year BHB piloted a mental health clinic in a general practitioner practice as well as at the Integrated Health Clinic at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre.

“We are pleased to partner with BHB in this pilot programme,” said Department of Health Director, David Kendell.

“Our staff will also benefit from regular workshops and training in mental health from the MWI professionals. This is an important aspect of the agreement as we work to provide a holistic approach to public health services for the entire community.”

For more information on the Mental Health Clinic at the Hamilton Health Centre on Victoria Street call 239-2261. The crisis hotline for all mental health services is 239-1111.

-ends-

18 October 2021 Home Page, News