State-of-the-Art Emergency Care in Toms River, New Jersey

When you visit the Emergency Department (ED), you want the right diagnosis—and you want to go home as quickly as possible. With that in mind, Community Medical Center (CMC) has redesigned the ED “from the patient’s point of view,” says Neil Bryant, Vice President of Support Services. “The idea is to bring care to the patient.”

William Dalsey, MD
William Dalsey, MD

The first phase of the three-year renovation is now complete. “We’re committed to becoming the best ED in the region,” says William Dalsey, MD, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Here’s how patients will benefit:

  • There will be individual rooms with glass walls, which will help reduce the chance of infection. When the renovation is complete, the ED will have a total of 99 beds.
  • The air in the ED will be filtered to protect against infection. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital’s construction plans were updated to reflect what healthcare providers were learning about infection prevention and safety. The heating and air system has been modified to provide additional areas with negative pressure, which helps to prevent germs from spreading. “This significantly reduces the transmission of respiratory-borne illnesses like COVID-19,” says Dr. Dalsey.
  • The space will be more open. Physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers will be assigned to certain care areas, but they will be able to see patients from anywhere in the ED. “All of the providers will be connected visually, so if a patient needs additional care, they can help,” says Bryant. The open space encourages teamwork and integration of care, says Dr. Dalsey.
  • The waiting room won’t be crowded. The open space will help ensure efficiency, says Bryant. “People will be triaged and treated, then moved into the results waiting area and discharged,” says Bryant. “Few patients will be sitting in the waiting room because there will be continuous patient flow.”
  • Patients will come to a single triage area. There are two entrances—one for walk-in patients and one for an ambulance. All of these patients will come to one area, improving patient flow and efficiency, says Bryant.
  • Radiology will be located in the ED. The hospital has purchased a new CT machine, digital X-ray machines, and ultrasound units. The equipment will be located in a convenient area so patients don’t have to travel far for testing.
  • There will be specialized areas of care for patients. There will be separate areas for critically ill, psychiatric, and pediatric patients. “We will have resuscitation areas, which will allow us to take better care of seriously ill patients,” says Dr. Dalsey.
  • Sensory rooms will keep the youngest patients calm. There will be two sensory rooms, which will feature lights that change colors to help soothe anxious pediatric patients.
  • There will be a care initiation area. Providers will take a patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure, and begin care in a special area before moving him or her to a room.
New helipad at Community Medical Center - part of the renovation project to ensure fast, effective emergency care

A New Helipad

Critically ill pediatric patients or adults who need heart surgery or neurological intervention or have suffered burns are transported to a tertiary center, such as Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), Saint Barnabas Medical Center or Newark Beth-Israel Medical Center. Until recently, patients were driven to a helipad in a baseball field near Community Medical Center (CMC). Now they can simply get into an ED elevator and take a ride to the roof of the hospital. There, they will board a helicopter, which will take them to the appropriate facility. It’s a 14- to 15-minute flight to RWJUH, which can save a life.

“Being able to move people rapidly to other facilities improves our ability to care for the community,” says Neil Bryant, Vice President of Support Services.

Likewise, the helipad will allow patients at other facilities to be more easily transported to CMC.

Learn more about Community Medical Center.