Physicians & Departments

Intensive Care

Contact us: 1-508-957-9350

For critically ill patients for whom transfer to off-Island medical facilities is not possible or not required, Martha's Vineyard Hospital has a 3-bed intensive care unit. Patient-centered care assures high quality, comprehensive and personalized nursing care 24 hours a day. Visiting hours in the ICU are flexible and may vary according to the desires and needs of each patient and family. Family members should check with the patient’s nurse before entering.

The Hospital’s first use of tele-medicine, began in 2000 and continues to this day, connecting patients with symptoms of stroke to neurologists in Boston who can consult on the delivery of clot-busting drugs during the critical time window that minimizes brain injury.

In the fall of 2015, a new tele-medicine service opened, allowing for live, real-time medical consultations for patients in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital ICU.

The program’s primary goal is to improve the quality of care here by drawing on the expertise of ICU staff at Mass General.

A small, critical care hospital like the Vineyard’s will never have the resources of a huge medical center like Mass General and there are times when airlifting an Island patient to Boston is clearly the right thing to do. But when occasionally ambulances can’t run, helicopters can’t fly, and it is difficult to get a patient off the Island, that’s when the Tele-ICU program can help care for patients right here. In consultation with the intensive care doctors at Mass General, we can make sure we’re doing all the right things here.

The cases of some patients fall into a gray area where it’s not absolutely clear whether an airlift to Boston is best, a consult can give another opinion and improve our decisions.

Even in cases where there’s no question that an airlift to Boston is best for a patient, the ability to conduct a live, face-to-face meeting via tele-medicine has great benefits. Doctors in Boston will have seen the patient before they arrive and can be prepared to deliver appropriate care right away. And the patient and family will already have seen the doctors at MGH – so the benefits work both ways.

Two mobile carts loaded with tele-medicine video hardware. A call is made to initiate a consult. The video machines are set up by both hospital and connect it to the Internet. With the video camera at the end of the patient's bed, staff and patients can seethe doctor’s face, and the doctors at Mass General can see everything we see through the camera. It’s live and the doctors in Boston can control the camera remotely.”

This service is not only improves the quality of care, but is also helpful in identifying cases where patients can safely be treated close to home, without the stress and expense of an emergency trip to Boston. At Martha's Vineyard Hospital, we want to offer to help lower the cost of care and avoid, where possible, the difficulty and inconvenience of having to leave the Vineyard – both for patients and for their families.