WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital is proud to announce it will be the pilot site for a telemedicine Intensive Care Unit Program, being coined as the Virtual ICU, or VICU. Providers from Potomac Valley Hospital will collaborate with Intensivists from WVU Medicine through telemedicine, in order to provide a higher level of care to patients needing more acute treatment.
Since its inception in December of 2015, the Critical Care and Trauma Institute in Morgantown, WV has continued to evolve and grow the capabilities of its tertiary and quaternary adult ICU care at WVU Medicine Ruby Memorial Hospital. Ruby Memorial has opened a 26 bed Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, established a 10 bed Neuro Critical Care Unit and comprehensive stroke center, and expanded the Medical ICU unit which now has 2 teams of physicians fellows and residents that care for their most critically ill and injured patients. All of this growth was made possible by bringing a host of highly trained and qualified faculty members on-board that are considered exerts and pioneers in their fields. This same group of board certified Intensivist will now be available virtually to assist in providing that same level of care to the ICU patients at Potomac Valley Hospital.
“The ultimate design for the program would allow for hardwired connections in each ICU room, where the Intensivists from WVU will be able to remotely view the specifics of each patient’s condition, speak with bedside care providers and provide insight and guidance in the treatment,” says Faith Rodeheaver F.N.P, Hospitalist at PVH.
Alison Wilson, M.D., executive director for the Critical Care and Trauma Institute will be spearheading the project on the WVU Medicine side. To train staff at Potomac Valley hospital, Dr. Wilson and her team are utilizing the Rural Trauma Team Development Course. The Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) emphasizes a team approach to the initial evaluation and resuscitation of the trauma patient at a rural facility. With more than 60 percent of the country’s trauma deaths occurring in rural areas, the course assists health care professionals in quickly determining the need to transfer the patient to a higher level of care. The course includes interactive lectures on both medical procedures and communication strategies and three team performance scenarios.
In preparation for the virtual ICU, PVH has upgraded all of its monitors within the ICU and the entire hospital onto a single state of the art platform. “Each ICU room is now equipped with the equipment and technology needed to provide the highest level of care,” stated Teresa White, director of nursing at PVH. She added, “The new monitors provide continuous vital sign monitoring, including oxygen saturation, end tidal CO2, continuous temperature monitoring and specialized cardiac monitoring, with capabilities to detect and map heart damage.”
“Potomac Valley Hospital is excited to be moving forward with the plans for collaboration with WVU Medicine Intensivists on a virtual Intensive Care Unit. Being able to provide this high level of service to our patients will allow our patients to receive intensive care services right here in their own community, and reduce the need to travel so far for care,” says Mark Boucot, president and CEO of Potomac Valley Hospital and Garrett Regional Medical Center. He continued, “It’s very important for me, as a healthcare leader in our community, to assure that the services we have available meet the standard of care that each of us would want for our own family members and the hospital is working hard to improve and expand the access to those services for Mineral County and the surrounding communities.”