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Ocean Medical Center's New ER Opens Thursday

Take a tour: Private rooms for all patients, brand new equipment and technology in $82 million new emergency department

The new emergency department at Ocean Medical Center, Brick. (Photo: OMC)
The new emergency department at Ocean Medical Center, Brick. (Photo: OMC)
The wait is over, in more ways than one, at the new emergency department at Ocean Medical Center.

Gone are the days of patients receiving care in hallways, cramped spaces and curtains separating one patient from another. Waiting rooms are a thing of the past as well – the new emergency department, which opens at 7:30 a.m. Thursday – doesn't even have one.

The $82 million emergency department, triple the size of the hospital's old department, is far different than the image that often comes to mind when one thinks of an "emergency room," said Dean Lin, the president of Ocean Medical Center.

Lin took Brick Patch on a tour of the new facility the day before it was set to open.

"There are a lot of details we created based on our experience," said Lin. "It's all about the touches that people may not expect in a typical emergency care experience."

Nobody wants to have to go to the hospital, but patients in the new emergency department, built where an old parking lot was located, will have a better experience than they likely ever had before. Patients who drive themselves to the department are no longer met by a line of people waiting to see a representative at a glass window – only to be handed forms. The triage desk is set up to immediately bring patients to a private room where they will be treated. Registration takes place at one's bedside once they are comfortable.

The new emergency department can accommodate up to 70,000 visits per year. Ocean Medical Center currently handles about 55,000 per year in its emergency department that was originally meant for 17,000 visits per year.

Art adorns the walls, natural light flows through the ceilings by way of skylights and, eventually, gardens will be constructed in courtyards and crevices outside where both staff and family members of patients can breathe in some fresh air.

But the department is much more than a new building. The emergency department's equipment is all new, from beds to heart monitors to bariatric devices. Patients in need of a CT scan or other medical imagery will no longer have to be transported to another floor – the hospital purchased brand new imaging equipment that will be reserved just for emergency patients.

"It will certainly benefit our inpatients as well," said Lin, since it will eliminate backlogs caused by all of the hospital's patients using the same imaging equipment.

The 49-bed emergency room is divided between express care rooms for those who suffer minor injuries – hospital staff likes to use the example of a mishap with a fishing hook to illustrate the types of cases typically handled there – to large rooms that will house critically ill patients, such as those suffering heart attacks.

There is also a dedicated, brightly-colored pediatric section of the emergency department that will serve children and their families who come for treatment.

Down the hall, the behavioral health portion of the emergency room – where patients with dimentia or mental health issues are treated – is secured and monitored. Previously, behavioral health patients mixed with others in the wider, unsecured emergency room setting.

The new department was financed through Meridian Health's larger capital plan for its network, as well as a $5 million gift from Edele Hovnanian in honor of her parents, Hirair and Anna Hovnanian, for whom the new department is named.

Since the initial gift, the hospital has raised $10 million in donations.

"Tremendous community support has helped create this incredible healing environment," said Lin.

Lin said the hospital will also be adding staff to build on the physical improvements the new department provides. In the case that the need for emergency services expands even further, the department has two additional floors that are still unoccupied, but already set up for potential expansion.

The building can structurally support an additional three floors that could be constructed at a later date if the need should ever present itself.
Lory S. Bradford March 06, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Not so dumb..but yoi are......do you even have a vlue what yourw talking about ????? Camp..??? .experiment ???...youre making no sense !¡! I jad a rare hars to diagnos issue and got no answera feon severl local G.I. clowns who didnt see thw signs of bile suct problems after emg. Gall bladder surgery !!! Not that its any of your pathetic buainess...buy I teach my son very well I have to tell him to treat others the way he would want to be treated . he's a second class boyscout jr.ROTC k highschool with straight a's and would never touch drugs !
Lory S. Bradford March 06, 2014 at 12:17 PM
And not so dumb......you spelled my name wrong.....dummmmmyyyyy !!!!! Its Lory middle name ...social injustice fighter ! Now they have more beds to treat all the heroin addict s that will be broight in...2 years ago...I didnt even know what an opiate was ! ...till it became the only way to stop the SOD attacks and pancreatitis usully followed....have you evwe had pain from pancreatitis ???? I have and many many unbearable dayus in the hospital ....all the while running my company ansd raising a teenage boy
Lory S. Bradford March 06, 2014 at 12:58 PM
And again not so dumb....what re you even talking about? I was in some experiments and I don't know what you mean about being in camp..?? i had a serious medical condition that created beastly attacks and pain every 8-10 days ...they just accused me of drug seeking afyer they couldnt diagnose with standard equipment... they just shook there heads and sakd seek a dr. Who works in the Big E University Hospital I finally got my answers in treatment newarkand after several counseling sessions andpost traumatic stress disorderI still have nightmares from some horrific nights just laying and screaming in pain deep breathing .

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