ED addition improves patient experience
When the emergency department in nearby Sussex, NJ, closed this spring, the influx of patients to emergency services at Newton Medical Center might have created an emergency of its own. Newton Medical Center had already seen a 6 percent increase in emergency patients in the prior year alone.
“We already had a plan in place to improve our care, and major renovations were already underway that focused on increasing the efficiency of our services.” says Anthony Brutico, DO, director of the emergency department at Newton Medical Center.
New and Renovated
The hospital was nearing completion of a 22,000-square-foot addition to the emergency department as well as renovations to the existing space. That was an important investment, because the Sussex closure made Newton Medical Center the only hospital in the county to offer 24-hour medical services.
Renovating an emergency department involves much more than simply adding new square footage, Dr. Brutico says.
“There are hours when we need more space for critical emergencies than we do for nonlife- threatening ones,” he says, “so all of our new concepts here are versatile.”
For example, a new so-called “vertical care” area includes four stations for patients with minor emergencies who sit (vertically) vs. lay down. But staff can also transition the space for patients with more serious conditions.
“When someone has a sprained ankle or a possible fracture, they do not want or need to be in the same treatment area as patients with more serious injuries,” says Bessie Ziegenfuss, RN, nurse manager. “I call this a soccer mom’s dream. Plus, it allows us to save the beds for people who really need them.”
Some of the funds for these improvements came directly from the community, through the TogethER campaign, Dr. Brutico says.
The hospital completed renovations at Newton Medical Center over the summer, and more improvements are on the way. A second and final phase of renovations has begun, with the goals to have shorter wait times and overall easier access to care.
In an emergency, please call 911. Learn more about emergency services at Newton Medical Center >