24-Hour Continuum of Care
The Miami Valley Hospital Intensive Care Unit (MVH ICU) is fully staffed 24 hours a day. These patients need constant care from all disciplines.
The care of the patients in the MVH ICU is evidence-based. Evidence-based medicine follows care trends that are proven to work better. The most current research available is examined. An example of this is the low ventilator-acquired pneumonia (lung infection while on a breathing machine) rates at MVH. Evidence shows if the patient’s bed is raised at the head, their teeth are brushed every eight hours, their mouths are cleaned periodically, and they are suctioned under certain conditions, this rate is largely reduced. Following proven successful practices gives patients a better level of care.
ICU Backed By Superior Emergency Care
The MVH ICU has a large capacity, with many beds and a large staff. The region’s most extensive emergency care is available in the same building. MVH not only has a highly experienced emergency department, but we also have Southwest Ohio’s only Level I Trauma Center and Adult Burn Unit, a Level IIIB Maternity Center, and pioneering neurological treatment for strokes and aneurysms.
Multidisciplinary Team Care
Patients in the MVH ICU are treated by a variety of specialists working together as a coordinated team. Intensivists (physicians who are specialty-trained in Critical Care), Trauma-certified surgeons, specialty-trained nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Nutritionists, Pharmacists, the Palliative Care Team, Pastoral Counselors, IV Therapists (including a PICC Team), Enterstomal Therapy Team, Llab Ttechnicians, imaging technicians, and Radiologists combine their disciplines to give the best care possible. Many hospitals don’t have all these disciplines.
Intensivists are physicians who are certified and have Fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine. They specialize in the treatment of critically ill and medically unstable patients in the ICU. This provides the highest level of care for these patients. MVH has 20 Intensivists, the largest concentration in the region. An Intensivist is in the ICU at MVH 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The MVH ICU is affiliated with the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine's Residency Program. Resident physicians are supervised by attending Intensivists and bring with them the latest learning in innovative and effective care.
Specialty Nursing Care
Twenty-three MVH ICU nurses are certified as Critical Care Registered Nurses by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN) or Neuro Nurses. Like Intensivists, their specialty training enables them to give the best care possible to critically ill and medically unstable patients. Certification requires additional education yearly in Trauma Care. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is required by all nursing staff. Every staff member in the MVH ICU has received specialty training in the care of critically ill patients. The MVH ICU has a Nurse Clinical Educator who oversees the orientation and education of all staff. This team member maintains and updates orientation curriculum, trains staff, and tracks staff to maintain their certification. Orientation programs are tailored to the individual and their level of expertise. The orientation program is a combination of didactic sessions, including a Web-based critical care course, and clinical/hands-on experience at the bedside.
Therapists Dedicated to Intravenous Care
ICU patients depend on IVs for medication, maintaining fluid levels, and receiving nutrition. This is a critical tool in their care. The MVH ICU has a team of IV Therapists. They are experts who have received special training in Intravenous Medicine. IV Therapists have a specialized team for PICC line insertion.
Many patients in the ICU require the aid of a ventilator (breathing machine). Respiratory Therapists at MVH are certified by the National Board of Respiratory Care. MVH uses proven respiratory protocols which all staff follow so the patient gets the highest level of care. This has led to an exceptionally low respiratory pneumonia rate in the MVH ICU and across the hospital. Respiratory Therapists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and work collaboratively with nurses and physicians.
Vital Nutritional Expertise
Nutrition plays a key role in the care of ICU patients. Because of a patient’s illness or injury, special dietary restrictions or added nutrients may be required. MVH Nutritionists look at the needs of every patient in the ICU. Needs and restrictions are then reviewed with the physicians and nurses. Nutritionists arrange meals, tube feeding, and IV feeding.
Pharmacy Care Within ICU
The speed of getting medication to patients is very important in the ICU. Not only is pain treatment a constant concern, but some medications also require emergency administration. There is a pharmacy satellite the MVH ICU itself. This makes a pharmacist and needed medication available for quick response.
Assessment Consultation Team
MVH ICU nurses bring their expertise to other parts of the hospital. At MVH, when an Assessment Consultation Team (ACT) response is requested, ICU nurses assist with patients in other units. These nurses are available should a patient on the floor have a change in status that floor nurses feel needs investigation. This also gives bedside nurses another opinion in determining if a patient needs to be moved to a higher level of care. This rapid-response team has decreased the number of code situations outside the ICU for the past two years. The ACT nurse is available 24 hours a day.
The MVH Trauma, Emergency Department, and ICU have verification to care for adolescents from 12 to 18. These patients are typically brought in from auto crashes. The MVH ICU has four rooms specifically dedicated to pediatric care. Nurses are trained in Pediatric Trauma and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
Liberal Visitation for Family, Privacy Respect for the Patient
Visitors can be comforting for some patients, and exhausting for others. Often patients in the ICU need quiet and rest to help them recover. MVH has long sought a balance between visitation and rest periods. The large, private rooms in the MVH ICU allow up to two visitors at a time. Each room has a lounge chair, allowing family members to rest during this very stressful period. Flexible visitation is available for immediate family members. These designated people are decided by the patient or the next of kin. Other visitors may stop by during regular ICU visitation hours.
General visiting hours for ICU are 11am-8pm. Flexible visitation is available for immediate family members. Patients may have 2-3 visitors at a time. Please see the ICU staff for more detailed information.
There is an ICU representative in the MVH ICU waiting room during normal visiting hours to aid and coordinate visits. The waiting area is large enough for families to wait without feeling cramped. There are several places to get food nearby in the hospital. The representative can give visitors beepers so they can go to lunch and not miss a physician update.
Organ Donation Coordinator
Organ donation has both a sensitive and timely nature. Absolute respect must be observed for the patient and loved ones. At the same time, getting organs to patients who need them, wherever in the country that may be, requires speed for a successful transplant. MVH has an organ donation coordinator who works with patients, families, and Life Connection of Ohio to arrange donations with the utmost sensitivity. Many times patients have already given consent on their driver’s license for organ donation. Miami Valley Hospital ranks high nationally in saving lives through an organ donor program.