The Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital was recently re-accredited for a period of three years. (File photo: ZARRIN TASNIM AHMED)

In September, the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital was re-accredited for a second three-year term by DNV, a Norway-headquartered registrar that assesses healthcare facilities across the world, according to Health and Social Development Minister Vincent Wheatley.

“The recent accolade of an accreditation certificate is the culmination of years of relentless effort by our dedicated teams,” Mr. Wheatley said during an Oct. 31 House of Assembly meeting.

“They have crafted hundreds of new policies, tirelessly reviewed and improved key areas that impact the quality and safety of care delivered by the BVI [Health Services Authority].”

2020 accreditation

The hospital received its initial three-year accreditation from the registrar — which was then branded as DNV-GL — in 2020, becoming the first in the region to earn the status, officials said at the time.

DNV accredits more than 635hospitals in the United States and15 hospitals across Brazil, China, Iceland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Thailand, according toMr. Wheatley.

“Within our region, we stand shoulder to shoulder with distinguished healthcare facilities such as Health City Cayman Islands,Barbados Fertility Centre,Bermuda Hospitals Board, and Doctors Hospital in the Bahamas, all accredited by Joint Commission International,” Mr. Wheatley said. “Additionally, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, Bermuda Hospitals Board, and Interhealth Canada (TCI) LTDin the Turks and Caicos Islands hold accreditation from Accreditation Canada.”

The VI health system, however, is one of only three public health systems in the region with “internationally accredited status,” he said.

Assessment system

DNV 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, Virgin Islands officials have said.

To earn the re-accreditation,the BVIHSA had to carry out aself-assessment, a readiness assessment, and a formal NIAHO assessment earlier this year,according to Mr. Wheatley.

“In the second year, they will undergo a follow-up [DNV] assessment and an ISO 9001 pre-assessment to demonstrate sustained progress,” he said. “In the third year, they will culminate this journey with an ISO 9001 certification audit to validate the quality of the management system.”