The Dr. Orlando Smith Hospital is the first in the region to receive accreditation from the Norway-headquartered body DNV-GL, according to Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone. (Photo: ZARRIN TASNIM AHMED)

The Dr. Orlando Smith Hospital has achieved accreditation with the Norway-headquartered accrediting body DNV-GL, making it the first in the region to earn the status and one of three public health systems in the region to receive any kind of international accreditation, Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone announced Tuesday in the House of Assembly.

“Let me take this opportunity to start with what can only be described as a red-letter day for health care in the territory, a watershed event, and a turning point for the delivery of health services,” Mr. Malone said. “By achieving this distinction the [BVI Health Services Authority] has demonstrated its ability and commitment to providing health care that has been evaluated against global standards.”

Accreditor

DNV-GL — an international risk-management and quality-assurance organisation that works in the health care, maritime and energy sectors — also recently administered the bidding process for the BVI Electricity Corporation’s planned solar array on Anegada. Mr. Malone said it was chosen for the hospital review in order to ensure the BVIHSA’s long-term plan of continuous quality improvement.

“I am proud to say that this is the first hospital in the Caribbean region to be accredited by DNV-GL, a body that accredits over 635 hospitals in the United States of America and 15 hospitals across Brazil, China, Iceland, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Thailand,” the minister added.

The registrar uses its own trademarked “National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations” standards, along with International Standards Organization 9001 standards for health care and ISO 15189 standards for medical laboratories, according to Mr. Malone.

The hospital has been accredited for the NIAHO standard, but will have to work towards the two ISO certifications in the coming years.

“Going forward, the BVIHSA will be expected to maintain these standards and be open to continuous monitoring and inspections,” Mr. Malone said.

International accreditation has been a goal of the Ministry of Health and Social Development over fourgovernment administrations,the minister said, adding thatthe hospital — which openedin 2014 — was built with suchstandards in mind.

Process

The assessment process was thorough and involved annual surveys and feedback, Mr. Malone added.

“It is remarkable that the BVIHSA was able to achievethis goal while dealing with multiple major hazard impacts since 2017,” he said. “Several major challenges were overcome and the BVIHSA made significant progress and was able to continue the assessment process.”

This year, the BVIHSA undertook a self-assessment, a readiness assessment, and a formal assessment of compliance for DNV-GL, he added.

Next year, it will undergo a follow-up assessment and ISO 9001 pre-assessment. In 2022, the BVIHSA aims to achieve the ISO 9001 certification to accredit the organisation’s quality management system, he said.

One recent area of improvement the minister highlighted was the expansion of the laboratory and clinic space in the former hospital, which he said will be necessary to meet ISO 15189 standards.


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