Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is the only hospital on the island of Bermuda and includes the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. Located in the western North Atlantic Ocean, 650 miles from North Carolina, this 324-bed hospital serves over 65,000 island residents and an annual tourist population of 692,000.
- Eliminate manual, paper-based emergency notification processes
- Create a more streamlined enterprise communication infrastructure
- Increase staff productivity
- Improve patient satisfaction
- Emergency notification, web directory, speech recognition, and secure messaging
- Reduced time to issue mass notifications during disaster events by 83%
- Cut code blue response time by 50%
- Created more efficient IT infrastructure by reducing the number of systems required for efficient communications
The U.S. Atlantic coast is considered the most vulnerable area to hurricanes in the world. Each year, approximately 12 major storms make landfall in the U.S., with one in four reaching catastrophic levels. Located in the Mid-Atlantic region is the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB). Like many hospitals, they discovered they weren’t always as prepared as they would like to be, often scrambling to prepare their facilities for disaster and an influx of patients.
As the only hospital serving the entire island nation, BHB is focused on providing accurate and efficient communications, especially during disasters and other major events. However, BHB was using several outdated legacy systems to contact key personnel, taking upward of three hours to reach clinical team members and requiring staff to manually manage a time-intensive call log.
BHB needed to simplify how they communicated and make it easier for care teams to connect. They were looking for a single, integrated platform that could reach everyone at once and support one-to-one messaging—while being device agnostic to support the wide range of devices used at BHB. “We knew that if we could find a communication platform that did everything, we would not only advance our technology, we’d substantially impact patient care,” explains Lloyd Holder, Vice President of IT Services at BHB.
BHB was looking for a solution that could address four primary requirements:
- Solve several needs with one platform
- Create synergy throughout the hospital network
- Provide consistent, timely communications
- Allow for interoperability with mobile devices
BHB needed an easy-to-use, efficient, and cost-effective solution that would give staff a way to communicate in a consistent and reliable way and eliminate manual, labor-intensive, and paper-based processes.
“We were essentially using a rolodex. In many instances, a phone number wasn’t current, which would have me calling the operator,” Dean Parris, operations manager at BHB, explained, shaking his head and recounting his frustrations. “With Spok I have that information at my hands.”
After implementing the Spok Care Connect platform, BHB is able to support an IT strategy focused on standardization and automation. Spok solutions for web directory, emergency notification, and secure messaging allow BHB to support a bring your own device (BYOD) environment where clinicians can safely send and receive messages containing patient information. In addition, BHB is using Spok speech recognition to ease operator overload by pre-recording responses to routine information requests from patients and their families, such as visiting hours.
Our hospital executives are extremely happy because they see the effect on staff satisfaction, efficiency, and patient care.
– Lloyd Holder VP, IT Services
By focusing on faster alerts using Spok emergency notifications and secure messaging application, BHB better manages major incidents and has shortened response time for Code Blue alerts by 50%. In addition, they decreased disaster response time from an average of 150 minutes to less than 30 minutes.
“A disaster is any event that puts stress on your facility, staff, or patients,” explains Parris. “We used to carry a list in our wallets of people we were responsible to notify during a major event. With Spok, we can set up automatic call trees that send messages to any device, collect the responses, escalate when needed, and log all the information for reporting and analysis.”
As a result of these changes, BHB staff can focus on patient care and not worry about extraneous administrative tasks. BHB has successfully delivered mass notifications to more than 200 clinical staff members in a matter of seconds. Parris described the process as nearly instantaneous: “Even if I’m traveling overseas, using Spok I immediately know when the notification was sent, who’s read it, and who’s responded.”
This innovation was a factor in BHB’s recent international recognition as Workplace of the Year by the WOW! Awards, an international employee recognition program. In an interview, BHB CEO Venetta Symonds explained that their staff members have demanding and stressful jobs and that the hospital is focused on ensuring their employees have the best chance to succeed.
According to Holder, BHB showcased the Spok system to the WOW! team during interviews. “We showed judges how Spok empowers our staff to communicate and collaborate with one another, and ultimately respond faster to patient events and during disaster scenarios. They were highly impressed.”
BHB nursing staff have been asking for a better, quicker way to handle patient concerns and requests with less overhead paging. BHB plans to enhance hospital workflows using Spok clinical alerting to efficiently route messages from nurse call to nurses’ preferred mobile devices. “We’re looking forward to growing our partnership with Spok,” says Holder. “For me, the opportunities are endless. Our hospital executives are extremely happy because they see the effect on staff satisfaction, efficiency, and patient care.”