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Robert Wood Johnson expands emergency department

<p>Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has eight bays for ambulances to easily arrive and depart from the emergency department.</p>

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has eight bays for ambulances to easily arrive and depart from the emergency department.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) recently opened the doors to a newly redesigned emergency department.

“This is the culmination of a two-year project which took a very old dated (emergency department) to a brand new state-of-the-art emergency department that allows us to provide outstanding care in an outstanding environment for our patients,” said RWJUH Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Robert Eisenstein in a video release.

CEO and President of RWJUH John J. Gantner said the department’s footprint has increased by 50%, from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet, according to the video.

Changes include more than 100 new private treatment areas for patients, a larger Pediatric Emergency Department and a new walk-in entrance. An expanded ambulance bay also has the capacity for eight ambulances at once, according to the video.

“Over the last two years the very first thing we did was redo our ambulance bay. It went from what I used to call the ‘bat cave’ to what is now nice, eight beautiful ambulance bays that (Emergency Medical Services) can easily back in, easily back out,” Eisenstein said in the video.

The department was also redesigned to improve efficiency in patient flow. There is now a fast-track option for patients and in-house imaging that will reduce wait times for test results, according to the video.

“What we’ve done is redesign the emergency department to create a process that we can get you from walking in the door to a room to see a doctor or (physician assistant) as quickly as possible,” Eisenstein said in the video.

A new room in the Adult Emergency Department will include a sensory area for adult patients on the autism spectrum, according to the video.

“It is similar to the Pediatric Emergency Department which was the first to have this,” Eisenstein said. “They have a sensory room which is really a place for patients on the autism spectrum where they are in a more comfortable environment with lots of activities and things to help keep them distracted and keep them busy.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Jack Morris, chairman of the board at RWJUH, thanked the healthcare providers who had worked in the emergency department during the expansion process, according to the video.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for giving the amount of effort that they give every day to take care of our patients in the conditions they had to work in, in a construction zone,” he said, according to the video. “It was not easy.”

New Brunswick Mayor James M. Cahill said the expansion will improve the capabilities of healthcare providers at RWJUH, according to the video.

“The additional high volume capacity created with new patient spaces and trauma rooms, a new ambulance bay and radiology imaging within the department itself will further enhance the ability of the dedicated emergency department staff to treat the hundreds of patients that come through these doors each and every day,” Cahill said, according to the video.

Gantner said RWJUH currently sees approximately 90,000 patients each year. With the expanded capacity, he said he expects to see that number go up.

“This project represents a significant investment in dollars, in infrastructure, but it is also an investment in people,” Gantner said in the video.

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