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Hospitals get back to normal after installing computer system

Michael Richmond, chief executive and president at the Bermuda Hospitals Board and the next CEO (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Bermuda Hospitals Board says emergency department waiting times are returning to normal as staff have become accustomed to its new electronic records system.

Michael Richmond, BHB chief executive and president, said that activity in relation to PEARL, the Patient Electronic and Administrative Records Log, was beginning to return to normal.

Average “length of stay” for patients before the system was implemented on October 29 was 198 minutes or three hours, 18 minutes but this jumped to as high as 485 minutes or eight hours, 15 minutes on November 2.

However this dropped to 160 minutes or two hours, 40 minutes by November 9.

Dr Richmond 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 slowdown 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 are being managed, and staff are mastering the new system.”

BHB said there was a slow down in planned and outpatient activity following the first two weeks of implementation on October 29, there were still 3,267 encounters in ambulatory care, 150 elective and emergency surgeries and 20 babies born. There were 1,011 people who attended the Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, and 142 admissions to an inpatient ward.

A BHB spokeswoman said: “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.

Dr Richmond added: “I would like to extend my appreciation to the community for their continued 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.”

The following is the Emergency Department length of stay (from arrival to discharge) in minutes for each day following PEARL’s go-live. The average length of stay up to October 29 in ED was 198 minutes (three hours and 18 minutes). It was shared before go-live that in the first week that staff getting used to the new system were expected to work at about 50 per cent of their usual capacity as they go used to the new system, and this would gradually improve.

•Saturday October 29 (partial day): 294

•Sunday, October 30: 405

•Monday, October 31: 442

•Tuesday, November 1: 358

•Wednesday, November 2: 485

•Thursday, November 3: 366

•Friday, November 4: 285

•Saturday, November 5: 289

•Sunday, November 6: 239

•Monday, November 7: 289

•Tuesday, November 8: 190

•Wednesday, November 9: 160

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Published November 14, 2022 at 7:52 am (Updated November 14, 2022 at 7:52 am)

Hospitals get back to normal after installing computer system

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