Monday 11 April 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that its Primary Stroke Centre, part of a clinical affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHMI), has received Stroke Distinction Award from Accreditation Canada for its Acute Stroke Services and its Inpatient Rehabilitation Services standards.
A letter from Accreditation Canada announcing the news reads: “Achieving Distinction indicates that your organization has demonstrated national leadership in the provision of high-quality stroke care. We applaud your success and urge you to celebrate this achievement.”
Accreditation Canada surveyors interviewed Bermuda Hospitals Board staff, stroke patients, their families and organisations BHB partner with from 28 February – 3 March 2022.
“We are delighted to receive distinction certification from Accreditation Canada for our Primary Stroke Centre,” said BHB CEO and President Dr Michael Richmond. “This is outstanding as our centre opened less than four years ago. It reflects the world-class expertise of our staff who achieved this while navigating the unique and challenging stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr Richmond continued: “Stroke distinction certification is the highest commendation a Stroke Centre can receive in the Accreditation Canada system and aligns with BHB’s vision to pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud.”
The final report reads in part: “Overall the Stroke Distinction surveyors identified the following areas of success within the organization’s stroke services:
- Leadership and Organization support
- Knowledgeable and committed staff
- Collaboration with Johns Hopkins [Medicine] International
- Alignment of the Integrated Stroke program plan with the Strategic Plan
- Community Partnerships
- Communication and promotion of the stroke program”
BHB Medical Stroke Director Dr Francene Gayle said: “The COVID-19 pandemic definitely presented us with unexpected challenges but we forged ahead to achieve, and in some cases, surpass, our targeted goals. We are especially thrilled to have developed novel stroke systems of care which can become models for other community hospitals around the world.”
“It has been our pleasure to collaborate with BHB in developing the Stroke Centre. We are proud of this collaboration and BHB’s accomplishments as a Primary Stroke Centre with distinction, “ said Victor C Urrutia, MD, director of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and director of The Johns Hopkins Global Center for Organised Stroke Care. “This truly demonstrates BHB’s commitment to a higher standard of clinical service for stroke care. Their cohesive team and consistent approaches are now certified, to the benefit of patients across the island.”
Stroke Centre History
In 2018 BHB recognising that stroke had become an epidemic on the island, took steps to address the problem. In July 2019, BHB launched its Primary Stroke Centre, part of a clinical affiliation with JHMI. Since that time, stroke patient outcomes have significantly improved. A more clearly defined process in managing stroke patients together with a robust national campaign highlighting the signs and symptoms of stroke and the importance of attending the hospital immediately, have led to the success.
At our peak, 14 percent 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.)
Dr 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 has 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 was able to be diagnosed and air-ambulanced to The Johns Hopkins Hospital within 17 hours. The patient received the lifesaving thrombectomy surgery, and, is likely the first in the world to have experienced the trans-oceanic service.
Pictured above: BHB Stroke Centre Working Group with Accreditation Canada lead surveyor Dr Ali Hojjati (middle front) – March 2022