BHB gains top level of accreditation

  • Venetta Symonds (File photograph)

    Venetta Symonds (File photograph)


Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) has achieved a decision of Accredited with Exemplary Standing, Accreditation Canada’s highest level of accreditation. The decision follows four years of quality and safety improvements, culminating in a weeklong onsite visit by independent surveyors in May.

Accreditation Canada is a non-profit organisation that works with the Ottawa-based Health Standards Organization, healthcare providers, policy makers and patients to improve the quality of health and social services. More than 1,000 health and social service organisations and 7,000 sites around the world have been accredited by Accreditation Canada with a goal of safer, high-quality healthcare. Accreditation Canada surveyors are volunteers who are healthcare professionals in senior clinical or administrative roles at other accredited organisations.

BHB CEO and President Venetta Symonds said: “I’m very proud of this result, which reflects the dedication and hard work our staff devotes to BHB’s quality and safety improvement projects in addition to their daily work of caring for our patients. The surveyors emphasised how much we’ve achieved at BHB over the last few years, and even in the six months prior to the survey.

“They applauded how we have used the Strategic Plan 2016-2021 at the centre of our planning across BHB, and how our extensive Clinical Services Plan serves as the anchor for our strategic goals.

“They cited our dedication to quality and safety improvement and training at all levels, especially initiatives like the introduction of daily bullet rounds on inpatient wards and more focused discharge planning, the significant reduction in pressure injuries, our commitment to early identification and treatment of sepsis, and our increasing engagement of patients and families in policy and process development. They recognised the involvement of our entire team in achieving these results.”

BHB Chief of Staff Michael Richmond, MD, said: “In Bermuda our hospitals are required by law to be accredited by an approved accrediting body. However, the most important part of the process is the opportunity to receive feedback and recommendations from the Accreditation Canada team and the surveyors based on the knowledge and insights they’ve gained from our peers across North America and around the world.

“Clinical and non-clinical teams across BHB have been collaborating with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Johns Hopkins Medicine International and other partners to identify and implement changes to our services, processes and policies. These changes are already having a significant impact on the quality and safety of our care, as evidenced by Accreditation Canada’s survey findings.”

Mrs Symonds added: “Achieving the highest level of accreditation does not mean we don’t have more work to do. The survey report highlights the things we’re doing well, but it also outlines areas we need to improve. Their advice, along with our other quality improvement partners, will help us along the journey to attaining our vision of Exceptional Care. Strong Partnerships. Healthy Community.

“One of our greatest resources on this journey is our patients and their loved ones. Their input on our services and care is invaluable in identifying the areas we fall short and helping us deliver the best possible care to every patient, every day. Our newly formed Patient and Family Advisory Council also provides advice on how we can implement or change processes to improve the patient experience. Thank you to the Council and to every member of the community who has taken the time to contact our unit managers and patient relations with their suggestions and concerns.”

From 13-17 May 2019, four independent surveyors assessed BHB against 26 sets of healthcare standards, 35 priority processes and 30 required organisational practices. They spent time at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre and three of BHB’s group homes, observing staff, reviewing documentation and policies, and interviewing staff, patients and community partners.

The surveyors’ findings were then reviewed thoroughly by the Accreditation Canada team before an accreditation decision and full report were issued.

“Accreditation Canada is committed to supporting organisations like Bermuda Hospitals Board, who offer safe and effective care with a focus on continuous improvement. We commend BHB for their outstanding achievement and their contributions to our goal of achieving quality health services for all,” noted Katerina Tarasova, Accreditation Canada’s executive director of international accreditation.

Accreditation Canada will continue to work with BHB throughout the four-year accreditation cycle, reviewing evidence related to unmet criteria, providing feedback, and monitoring standards and practices to ensure the organisation continues to perform at the expected level.

BHB has been accredited since the 1970s. This year marks the 13th onsite survey by Accreditation Canada. The next survey will be held in May 2023.

The accreditation report, decision letter and survey comparison table are available on the BHB website at bermudahospitals.bm > About BHB > Providing Safe Care (bermudahospitals.bm/about-us/about-us/quality-care-and-patient-safety/).

Press release from the Bermuda Hospitals Board

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Published Dec 2, 2019 at 11:54 am (Updated Dec 3, 2019 at 7:59 am)

BHB gains top level of accreditation

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