COVID-19 numbers have continued to stay elevated in Mineral County and the surrounding areas. Potomac Valley Hospital continues to be ready to care for the members of the community, taking extra steps to ensure that those patients requiring hospitalization are receiving the best care possible, while being able to stay close to home. “Patients who are requiring hospitalization are needing a longer stay to get them through this,” says President and CEO of Potomac Valley Hospital, Mark Boucot. Longer, local stays for patients requiring a higher level of care means an increase in the types of medical care, as well as type of equipment needed.
Potomac Valley Hospital has created COVID centers within the hospital. These centers allow those caring for COVID-19 patients to reduce the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), by only going into a specifically dedicated unit within hospital. These COVID centers are able to expand throughout the entire facility. Within the COVID center, patients are able to be seen by physicians, surgical intensivists, and critical care intensivists from WVU Medicine. This virtual care concept is groundbreaking, one of the first of its kind. Unlike e-ICU programs, local physicians are partnering with specialists from Ruby to become a single team. “No one knows a patient like their family doctor, and working with an intensivist at Ruby gives you the best of both worlds.” Boucot continues, “The hospitalists are the same doctors that would see you as part of the of the community practice. The community practice physicians are the ones you see in the hospital. We are really grateful to have this opportunity. The WVU Health System has been phenomenal for its response to the pandemic and the support to the outlying hospitals.”
In addition to more shipments of PPE and PAPR equipment, PVH has also received more high flow oxygen ventilation equipment to treat patients. “We’ve identified that oxygen therapy has been very beneficial. Having more high flow oxygen devices, more BIPAP machines, is allowing our patients to stay local,” continues Boucot.
Not only is PVH caring for the physical state of patients, but also for emotional needs as well. At this time there is a no visitation policy in effect within the hospital. Staff members are working with families to provide alternate ways for patients to stay in touch throughout their hospitalization. Staff will also begin wearing larger pictures of themselves without their PPE, so patients can see the person providing their care is a real person. “Alleviating any stress and anxiety of patients that we can will help create a stronger sense of care and human interaction. Our medical and nursing staff has a very high degree of empathy and compassion. The work they are doing and the great lengths they are going to for their patients is remarkable,” says Boucot.
Potomac Valley Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital in Keyser, West Virginia. The hospital serves the community of Mineral County, West Virginia and surrounding areas. PVH officially became a member of the West Virginia University Health System in 2014. PVH provides inpatient and outpatient care, including 24/7 Emergency Department services. PVH employs more than 250 healthcare professionals, including over 50 physicians, who are dedicated to our mission of striving to treat every patient like a member of our own family.