WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital has been making tremendous strides in the last year, expanding access to care that it provides for the citizens of Mineral County and the surrounding area. Beyond simply providing excellent health care, the hospital can be counted upon to also help improve the economic health of our county.
The expansion of services offered at Potomac Valley Hospital has been a priority for President and CEO, Mark Boucot, since stepping into the leadership role in January of 2018. “Residents of Mineral County have gone too long without close access to the healthcare that they need. As part of a larger health system, PVH is in a great position to help our community gain access to the healthcare they need, while being able to stay close to home,” says Boucot.
Growth of services over the last year and a half has allowed PVH to offer an increasing array of inpatient and outpatient services. Patients can now benefit from an expansion of cardiology services offered by the Heart & Vascular Institute; the addition of an orthopaedic surgeon, Douglass Tice, MD who is specially trained in orthopaedic trauma; the addition of a general surgeon, Greg Casey, MD who is also experienced in general thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and endocrine surgery; and the development of family medicine and primary care services both at the hospital and at a new clinic located in Fort Ashby that accepts unscheduled walk in visits.
Potomac Valley Hospital is now on the leading edge of telemedicine innovation; PVH has implemented programs such as the Virtual ICU, which created a telemedicine link to WVU-Ruby Memorial Hospital to reduce the number of ICU patients who require transfer to larger facilities for higher acuity care. WVU surgical intensivists now work as a team with the hospital’s attending physicians to provide a higher level of care. Furthermore, the hospital is finalizing a contract for Tele-Dialysis so that patients that need dialysis treatments can use the inpatient facilities at PVH and no longer have to be transferred to receive inpatient care. Finally, the hospital has also focused on the development of its Swing Bed program, which provides local patients with additional inpatient skilled care and extra time to heal before returning home.
“Providing quality care to the residents of Mineral County is a priority at PVH. While increasing the services we have available, our physical demands within the hospital have increased as well. This allows the hospital to provide job growth opportunities within Mineral County to provide these services that our community needs. The growth of our hospital is a win-win for the County as a whole,” says Boucot. He continued, “This community deserves to have great healthcare services, which in turn contributes to the economy of our area and makes it easier to recruit businesses to the area.”
In fact, since January of 2019, PVH has added over 20 new positions within the hospital. These new positions, offer opportunities for varying career levels along with career development for committed staff. Boucot states, “Over the last 6 months, we’ve seen our hospital staffing needs increase, allowing us to add positions to both clinical and support services, as well as creating a whole new centralized scheduling department. The centralized scheduling system will allow our patients to schedule appointments easier with a single point of contact for the hospital.” The level of improvements at the hospital has been noticed by the community as well as people are now choosing PVH as their hospital for the best care. The hospital increased by several hundred admissions over the last year.
PVH is committed to excellence in nursing. This excellence in nursing care ensures our nurses are receiving the most current, evidence-based practice education available. To achieve this goal, PVH provides educational opportunities for all nursing staff. Through a contract with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, our nurses have access to continuous online nursing education. Operating room nurses are enrolled in an education program, Nurse in Surgery Essentials (NISE), which provides education in the foundation of the perioperative nursing practice. In addition to the commitment to nursing education, PVH will be moving forward with an additional online resource for point of care, evidence-based procedure guidance. “This commitment to nursing, evidence-based learning will help our nurses to provide the most up-to-date evidence based nursing care to our community, to ultimately provide better patient outcomes,” says Vice President of Nursing Elaine Geroski. Furthermore, the hospital has developed an excellent relationship with Potomac State College and will be working to advance the partnership with the college to apply for job and educational development grants.
Residents of Mineral County can expect to see even more growth from Potomac Valley Hospital in the upcoming year as well. “We have plans to continue to expand services throughout the next year. So much so, that the hospital is planning for a facility expansion and renovation that will also contribute to more construction jobs in the area. Most importantly, patients can expect to see a greater emphasis on Preventive Medicine initiatives from PVH, as well as the addition of more specialty services offered by West Virginia University Health Systems,” says Chief Operating Officer, Amy Boothe. With these projected expansions and the new employment opportunities they bring, the residents of this county can look no further than their own backyard for quality healthcare and stable, rewarding jobs.