Michael Moran, Interim President and Chief Administrative Officer, Baystate Health Eastern Region
As the new leader of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospitals, I have been reaching out to meet as many community leaders and members as I can. I have come to learn how passionate this community is about its future, about its history, and about improving the wellbeing of its residents. I am inspired by your commitment and am eager to partner with you on our mission to improve the health of the people in our communities with quality and compassion.
Over the past ten years, health care delivery has undergone tremendous change with a goal to keep patients out of the hospital. New technologies, medications, and innovations in tests and procedures have moved us toward delivering health care for the future, which focuses on outpatient care and wellness. Hospital leaders throughout Massachusetts need to deliver quality care in an affordable way, in the most appropriate settings for all the communities we serve. Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospitals are no exception.
Over the past several years, only about 20 percent of the care delivered at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital has been inpatient care, which is the care of patients hospitalized overnight. That 20 percent is the portion of care we seek to consolidate at Baystate Wing Hospital. This will ensure that the highest quality and most effective care is available for all our hospitalized patients.
New technology and advances in care have caused fewer patients to be hospitalized. Many procedures that once required hospitalization now happen in a matter of hours as day-stay surgery is making overnight stays unnecessary.
A national drop in hospital admissions is related to the U.S. healthcare system's success stories of treating patients effectively without hospitalization. Hospitals across our country continue to report flat or even declining inpatient growth. No one wants to be sick and hospitalized, and often when and if they are, the first thing they ask us is “when can I go home?”
Eighty percent of the care we provide now is outpatient care—meaning patients come for an appointment or procedure then go home. We will continue to provide outpatient health care services that are important to our community at the Baystate Mary Lane campus. These services include the emergency department, outpatient surgery, cancer services, radiology and lab services, and medical practices. In addition, the changes we are proposing would also enable us to consider new services at our Ware facility, provided by Baystate Health or by a community partner.
We are committed to maintaining the current emergency services at Baystate Mary Lane as long as there is appropriate demand for those services. We’ve heard the community’s concerns about the emergency room and responded with a commitment to keeping the emergency room open for at least two years. This doesn’t mean anything will change after two years, it just means we will re-evaluate based on the community’s demand for emergency services in Ware. The more use the emergency room gets, the more likely it is to remain open.
We’ve had some great enhancements at Baystate Mary Lane in the last couple of years, most of which is possible through our health system collaboration. In December of 2014, we completed installation of a new 64-slice CT (computed tomography) scanner. The Baystate Heart & Vascular Program expanded services with the opening of a new Vascular Laboratory. Doppler ultrasound is now being conducted onsite and tests are interpreted by a board certified vascular surgeon at the Baystate Heart & Vascular Program at Baystate Medical Center. In addition, we renovated our Emergency Department to accommodate more patients as we introduced our 30-minute pledge to deliver excellent care as efficiently as we can, each and every time it is needed.
Both Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing are taking part in a $900,000 system-level grant to help keep patients local and cared for through telemedicine. This enables patients to remain local while being seen, on screen, by Springfield-based specialists in Cardiology, Psychiatry, and Infectious Disease. Baystate specialists remain committed to providing services at Baystate Mary Lane.
We are deeply committed to this community. Over the last three years Baystate Mary Lane funded several community health initiatives for area not-for profit organizations, thanks to monies made available to us because of Baystate Medical Center’s Determination of Need and expansion process. Awards were made to the Carson Center - Valley Human Services to help establish a Structured Outpatient Addiction Program; to the East Quabbin Land Trust in Gilbertville to help develop a Fitness Trail; to the Ware Public School Physical Education Department to fund equipment for an Exer-gaming program; the Quaboag Hills Community Coalition to establish a Substance Use Task Force; to the Tri-Community YMCA to help fund an afterschool program at Highland and Hillside Village for youth at risk; to the Ware Fire Department to help purchase web communication equipment; and to support the work of the Ware Domestic Violence Task Force, to name a few.
The Baystate Eastern Region Community Benefits Advisory Council will continue to work with our community partners to focus on public health related programs and initiatives that reduce health disparities, promote community wellness, and improve access to care for the most vulnerable members of our community. We are proud to partner with the Quaboag Hills Community Coalition (QHCC) and the QHCC Substance Use Task Force, as well as many other local agencies and organizations to improve the health and well-being of our community.
The health of a community, and its community members, depend on much more than an inpatient unit. A healthy community is a result of the social, economic, political, and environmental factors that together provide a framework that improves the quality of life for all. Baystate Health’s Eastern Region, which includes Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing campuses, and our staff, will continue to be leaders who strive to influence the health of the people we serve. I feel privileged to lead such an outstanding team of professionals that are committed to your health and the health of this community.