Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
WMHS understands how difficult and stressful an ICU stay can be for patients and their families. WMHS is committed to providing the highest level of care to facilitate healing from a serious injury or illness.
Because of the critical nature of ICU patients, there are guidelines for visiting patients in the ICU. We want to allow our staff the time to provide the necessary medical care, ensure the patient’s privacy, give the patient plenty of time to rest, and follow all necessary infection control precautions. These visiting guidelines are:
• Please use the telephone at the door of the ICU to talk with the care provider before entering the unit.
• Only two visitors are permitted to visit at a time. Exceptions may be made based on patient condition and circumstances.
• Support persons are welcome to visit 24 hours per day according to patient preference.
• Children 12 years of age and under should not visit unless arranged through the charge nurse or nurse manager.
• No food or drink is permitted in the ICU, including the patient rooms.
During a visit, caregivers may ask you to step out of the room. Please do not take offense. This allows patient privacy and safety during procedures. If you are asked to step out of the room, you will be welcomed back to the bedside as soon as possible.
Providing Patient Information
Because of the staff’s need to devote their time and attention to the patient, only the family spokesperson may call directly to ICU for information. To maintain patient confidentiality, the family spokesperson should relay information to other family members and those who are concerned about the patient. The family spokesperson will be given a pass code. No information will be given to individuals without the pass code.
Please avoid making phone calls to ICU for information on a patient’s condition during the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is when the nursing shifts change and it allows time for the nursing staff to hand over the care of your loved one to the oncoming nurse. It also gives the oncoming nurse time to assess the patient and enables the staff to better answer any questions you may have.
Please do not send fresh flowers or balloons, as they are not permitted in patient rooms in ICU.
The Most Advanced Intensive Care Around the Clock
In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), every second counts, no matter the hour or the day. That is why Western Maryland Health System partnered with Advanced ICU Care® to implement the most advanced critical care telemedicine program available.
Advanced ICU Care® intensivists (doctors with special training in critical care) work collaboratively with the physicians and nurses at the patient’s bedside to monitor his condition every minute of the day. This team also helps to manage your loved one’s care during those times when the bedside physician cannot be present, including at night and on the weekends.
The team at WMHS still provides overall care. Advanced ICU Care® works closely with them to complement the quality care they provide. This collaborative approach has a proven track record for improving patient care and clinical outcomes.
Advanced ICU Care® is the nation’s largest provider of Tele-ICU services. Its team of intensivists and critical care nurses operates from centralized Operation Centers that are electronically connected to receive feeds of patient data. This team continuously monitors real-time information about each patient’s vital signs, medications, labs and clinical status.
This added support and expertise means that any changes in a patient’s condition can be addressed immediately. Proactive data management tools help to identify problems before they become urgent, prompting quick intervention when necessary.
Two-way video access in each patient’s room enables face-to-face consultation between the bedside and the Advanced ICU Care® team. This constant monitoring ensures that help is always available when needed.
When the critical care specialists at Advanced ICU Care® want to interact with a patient, a doorbell sound will occur before the doctor appears on the screen. We respect patient privacy. When the Advanced ICU Care® team is not interacting with the patient, the camera and audio are turned off.
ICU Telemedicine Program Now at WMHS
Patients at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center now have access to one of the most advanced critical care telemedicine programs available in hospital intensive care units. WMHS recently partnered with Advanced ICU Care®, the nation’s largest provider of telemedicine services for ICU patients.
"This new partnership with Advanced ICU Care is part of our commitment to continually innovate and improve services for our patients and our region, " said Nancy Adams, Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer at WMHS. "This program brings 24/7 critical care expertise directly to our patients, along with evidence-based practices, to complement the high-quality care our physicians and nurses provide. It is yet another example of how we deliver the highest standards in patient care and safety.”
The Advanced ICU Care team of intensivists and critical care nurses work around-the-clock from a centralized operations center that is electronically connected to receive feeds of patient data. This team continuously monitors real-time information about each patient’s vital signs, medications, labs, and clinical status. Proactive data management tools identify problems before they become urgent, prompting immediate intervention when necessary.
Two-way video access in each patient’s room enables face-to-face consultation between the bedside team and the Advanced ICU Care team. This video feed also enables the intensivist to interact directly with the patient to better assess the patient’s needs.
"The Advanced ICU Care team serves as an extra layer of care that reassures doctors that their sickest patients are vigilantly monitored when they are not present,” explained Gerald Goldstein, MD, Chief Medical Officer at WMHS. "There is a deep sense of relief knowing that emerging issues are dealt with immediately, and patients are receiving the highest recommended level of care at a moment’s notice.”
"Our critical care nurses appreciate the additional care and support of the Advanced ICU Care clinicians and can ask for their assistance with a touch of a button,” added Adams. "Patients and their families’ responses have been very positive. They welcome the knowledge that an intensivist physician is monitoring the patient at all times.”
"Our patients are receiving the best recommended standard of medical care available with the collaboration between their doctor, the hospital critical care team and the remote telemonitoring oversight of Advanced ICU Care,” concluded Adams.