Dr. Mark Keroack, Dr. Sarah Haessler, and Dr. Andrew Artenstein discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Baystate Health is Responding to COVID-19
See the latest in Baystate Health COVID-19 news.
Our Command Center
We have set up an incident command center under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Artenstein, our Chief Physician Executive, who also is an infectious disease doctor and a recognized expert on the spread of novel infectious agents. That team is considering new information on a daily basis, adjusting policies as needed, dealing with issues brought forward by front line employees and anticipating the course of the epidemic here in western Mass.
Minimizing the Threat to our Community
We continue to learn more and more about this infection, and it is now clear that someone infected by coronavirus can carry a large amount of virus in the nose and mouth, often well before they feel very sick.
Because infectious individuals are so hard to detect, and because the entire population is not immune to this new virus, we expect that we will soon be dealing with a large number of patients with suspected or confirmed infection. Therefore, it is important for all of us to stay informed about how to protect ourselves and remain effective in our jobs so we can help our communities minimize this threat.
Establishing Screening Protocols
Baystate Health has developed screening protocols for our medical practices and emergency rooms that are the front doors of our health system. These are designed to keep people with mild illness at home and to protect our employees who are evaluating them.
We also have an expanded isolation unit at Baystate Medical Center where we are admitting confirmed cases.
Through investments in preparedness, Baystate Health has specialized equipment already on hand. We are in close communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and are following their guidance on preparing for management of this illness. We also are paying close attention to public health measures being implemented at the state and national level.
Expanding the Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department
As Baystate Medical Center prepares for a surge in patients related to COVID-19, we have built a rapid response triage directly outside the Emergency Department to accommodate anticipated patient care needs.
The existing entry doors for our Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments will continue to be our front doors for the BMC ED.
Adjusting Services & Access
In order to protect patients, visitors, and caregivers, we are taking the following measures: