WESTFIELD – Baystate Noble Hospital has continued to care for patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting with them and the community, which President Ron Bryant said is what they do best.
“At Baystate Noble, we have great relationships with our patients,” said Bryant, praising staff. “Healthcare workers – especially when you go through something like this – are extraordinary people that are willing to step-up for their community.”
Bryant said because Baystate Noble is part of the Baystate Health System, it was able to adapt quickly when COVID hit the area. He said changes to the hospital and having that connection to Baystate Medical Center and the entire health system enabled patients to be seen quickly, whether they were at Baystate Noble for COVID-related concerns or other health needs.
“It’s been a gradual change to the way we serve the community and do business,” Bryant said of the transition from Noble Hospital to Baystate Noble.
A larger network of physicians helps patients see the right doctor when they need a specialist, and the implementation of electronic medical record makes providing services easier.
Bryant said Baystate Noble’s on-site services have changed, with the elimination of some services that patients can still access through the Baystate network as well as additional services, including expanded emergency room service.
Bryant said the Noble Hospital surgical center has shifted to a day surgery center, with surgeons from throughout the network performing procedures there. The endoscopy department has also expanded to include three physicians that rotate their time throughout the health system.
“By being part of the larger system we have more procedures performed in the community,” Bryant noted.
All of this allows Baystate Noble to treat patients in the Greater Westfield area more efficiently, especially those in need of emergency care. And, Bryant said, it lets staff concentrate on COVID patients.
“We are still within the third surge of the pandemic and I am so grateful for our employees,” Bryant said. “They have stepped up in an unbelievable way.”
In return, the community has stepped up as well.
“The outpouring of support from the community has been tremendous,” Bryant said, recalling a parade of supporters that drove by the hospital last year in appreciation of healthcare staff.
Bryant said right now, he feels “cautiously optimistic” that the pandemic is improving, and fewer people are contracting COVID-19 and fewer people are dying from its complications.
“There is a team at Baystate Health of epidemiologists and infectious disease experts guiding how we go forward and get back to normal – or how the new normal will look,” he said. “I feel more optimistic than I did six or eight months ago.”
Bryant did say staffing is a challenge during the epidemic and despite being short-staffed, Baystate Noble employees are working hard.
“We have to be cognizant of morale – this affects everyone from environmental services to nurses, doctors and techs,” Bryant said. “We try to support each of them.”
Support from the community – whether it’s a parade or a public thank you – helps keep everyone working hard t=and feeling appreciated.
“There’s a strong bond between Baystate Noble and the Greater Westfield community,” said Bryant. “That’s what gets them through these tough times.”