Hospital denies new computer system caused ten-hour wait
King Edward VII Memorial Hospital has denied that a man spent ten hours in the emergency department because of delays caused by its new electronic medical records system.
A Bermuda Hospitals Board spokeswoman said the Pearl, the new fully electronic medical records system, was still impacting services across the hospital since it was introduced on October 29.
But she said some lengthy waits in the emergency room were to be expected in instances where medical tests continue to need processing time.
She spoke after a member of the public who checked in to emergency last week at 4.30am complaining of sharp pains queried the ten-hour wait to get discharged.
“Emergency was packed with people by the time I discharged myself, which I figure has to be that new system they’ve got,” he said.
He said that during his time in King Edward VII Memorial Hospital he was given an X-ray and an injection for “severe” pain.
The hospital’s long-anticipated Patient Electronic and Administrative Records Log system came online on October 29, with Bermuda Hospitals Board warning in advance that the switch would come with some delays as staff were trained up.
A BHB spokeswoman this week said services were “beginning to return to normal”.
She added that a patient getting an X-ray could anticipate a time lag.
“Times from arrival to discharge in the emergency department are impacted by a number of factors, including the number of people who have attended and the severity of those cases.
“While patient confidentiality prohibits us from commenting on individual cases, depending on the symptoms, it is not unusual for someone to be discharged from the emergency department ten hours after arriving.
“For example, if diagnostic tests are ordered, there will be a wait for results. If any medication is administered, the patient may need to be monitored.”
The Pearl system for filing and updating patient records, hailed as an efficiency landmark for BHB, compiles patient information in one record with the use of paper phased out.
The spokeswoman said Pearl “continues to impact services across the hospital, including the emergency department”.
She apologised for any lengthy waits but added: “We encourage the public to see their general practitioner where possible, instead of attending the emergency department.
“However, if you suspect a medical emergency, please do not hesitate to come to the emergency department. The most urgent cases are prioritised and treated first, followed by more minor cases in order of severity.”