Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is pleased to provide an update to the community on its electronic medical record project, which will go live on 29 October 2022.
Since the project started in April 2021, hundreds of BHB staff have been working within dedicated work streams with our vendor, Cerner, staff have been named PEARL (patient electronic & administrative records log).
When PEARL goes live, there will be one electronic record for every patient across King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. PEARL will include medical history, test results, physician notes, and important information such as allergies, which will be available to clinicians, whichever service a patient is accessing at any time.
With all the information immediately at hand, care should be more efficient. With safety alerts built into the system, it will be safer too. PEARL will speed up access to critical data, centralise the scheduling of appointments for all BHB services and replace older paper-based processes such as referrals.
As staff members have to sign in to access PEARL, there is also greater confidentiality as the system records every person who opens a record even just to view it.
In line with plans, the patient portal will not be part of the initial go-live in October, but will be a benefit of the system and is planned for phase two of the project.
Progress on the electronic medical record implementation:
- The design and build of PEARL, which involved frontline staff across BHB, is complete.
- Integrated testing – in which BHB staff test the entire breadth of the system (including registration, scheduling, prescribing, referring, documenting, coding and billing) using differing patient scenarios – has been completed.
- Organisation-wide training started in June and continues through to go-live in October. About 1,400 staff have to be trained. The training is customised for different roles and professions within BHB. It includes different ways to learn, from videos and online simulations to intensive class room training.
- Over 200 BHB staff have been selected as PEARL experts, called super users, in each department. They will be on hand to support their colleagues in their department through and beyond go-live.
In the first two weeks after go-live on 29 October, staff will be adjusting to a new way of working so things may take a little longer than usual. Where pressure can be relieved by reducing activity for non-urgent appointments and consultations this is being planned, to avoid increasing delays or potential risks to care. This will also help ensure that emergency and urgent care continues as needed.
CEO & President, Michael Richmond, MD, explains: “While our need to implement an electronic medical record relates to the critical replacement of an old clinical system, PEARL is a true game-changer for patient care and is a major driver of our vision to pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud. It has been a huge commitment for our staff through a very challenging period. I’m immensely proud of our progress so far, very appreciative of the hard work by staff, and very much looking forward to PEARL going live in October.”
Chief of Staff, Wesley Miller, MD, says: “BHB physicians have been part of the BHB clinical teams working with Cerner to design and build PEARL. Cerner’s Millennium product is used in hospitals across the world, so we have the benefit of starting with a system that has international standards of care and safety built in that BHB staff have helped adapt for Bermuda.”
Chief Financial Officer, Bill Shields, comments: “This is a major transformation of how BHB works and delivers care. Our focus for go-live is to have the internal system working well for staff to use. As we are working hospitals and Bermuda’s only hospitals, ensuring a smooth and safe transition is our priority. We look forward to keeping the community updated on our progress.”
Chief of Nursing, Judy Richardson, adds: “PEARL is going to be a great asset for staff. It is going to be a tool nurses can use to improve quality and safety, and the efficiencies it will bring means more of their time can be spent where it is most needed – with our patients.”
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