On July 2nd, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Carvin Malone announced to the House of Assembly that the journey to ensure that the Dr. D. Orlando Smith/Peebles Hospital is an accredited institution is moving ahead smoothly.
While speaking on the Bill that addressed the accreditation of medical professionals in the Territory Hon. Malone gave a brief update on the hospital accreditation process which he said was going well.
The Minister of Health explained that his Ministry and the BVI Health Services Authority are working to complete all accreditation requirements.
The Health Minister told legislators that the process was “now in the advanced stages of accreditation of our medical services here in the BVI. We have reduced the list of exceptions down to a minor and manageable amount.”
Hon. Malone explained that the accreditation does not only deal with the physical aspect of BVI Health Services Authority but also the services. “The four walls of any of these institutions cannot get themselves accredited. It is the services that come from them that we have to rely on.”
He told the House of Assembly: “As we go towards accreditation we have to be able to utilize the four walls in the new facility we are constructing. We can become accredited only if we were to get the timely registration, the credentials of our experts on a timely basis, on a professional basis. On a basis of you and I going into any of the facilities feeling safe about.”
Back in February an international group commenced the first round of assessments that are geared at the fulfillment of the accreditation journey that the Territory’s main hospital embarked on some years ago.
The news that the process of accrediting the Dr. D. Orlando Smith/Peebles Hospital was in high gear was disclosed during an interview on the talk show Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton-Cline by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) Dr. Ronald Georges and Chief Operations Officer (COO) Pat Malone-Smith.
The details of what the first assessment entailed was provided by Malone-Smith who stated that the journey of assessments will last three years: “On 3 February DNV will come in and they will do the initial survey which will result in a certificate that is a form of accreditation…We will be accredited but to get to a certain level of expertise and higher standards they give us two more years to do what is called ISO which is international standard of care so they would come in every year and check us to say you started here next year when I come back you need to be here.”
During their visit the assessors examined the environment of care and ascertained if the hospital’s equipment is checked on a regular basis, whether the staff has the appropriate documentation for the work that they do, and the policy and procedures of the hospital are being followed.
On the other hand, Dr. Georges mentioned that though the process seems lengthy and costly the value that will come from the accreditation outweighs it all: “Yes, it’s something you want to stick on the door, but the point about it is to build an organization that is constantly looking at itself and trying to be accountable and improving. Trying to be accountable to its stakeholders,” the COO declared.
“It’s a three-year-old process and the vision is that at the end of that process to meet the… accrediting standards and to meet the ISO standards… It’s actually the foundation being laid right now… The next levels go up higher and higher. One of the critical things we have to do is to establish a quality department. That means you need a quality director, you need safety officers, you need somebody looking at risks… you need to put all of those things in place,” Georges added.