Jun 19, 2022 Ready For Any Emergency

The newly expanded ED offers thoughtfully designed spaces and state-of-the-art care.

Over the years, the number of patients seen annually at the Emergency Department (ED) at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center (CBMC) has increased dramatically from about 66,000 patients.

Eric Handler, DO
Eric Handler, DO
The ED itself has grown in size—it can now accommodate 130,000 patients annually—and in function, too. “Our goal was not only to increase space, but to make the flow of treatment much easier, so that patients are always seen in a space appropriate to their needs,” says Eric Handler, DO, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at CBMC.

The expanded ED, which has 102 beds in total, includes:

  • A Rapid Diagnostic Unit with 22 beds, which offers advanced tests such as a scan from a very fast, 256-slice CT scanner, a cardiac stress test, an MRI or an ultrasound, all in a timely fashion. “These tests used to take two to three days to get. Now our average length of stay is 14 hours,” says Dr. Handler.
  • A nearly twofold increase in the number of adult treatment bays.
  • An increase in capacity for the Pediatric Emergency Department. Physicians in the Pediatric ED are board-certified in pediatric emergency medicine, and nurses have the Pediatric Certified Emergency Nurse certification. An ED-based Certified Child Life Specialist helps children and their families have an easier experience.
  • More capacity in the Fast Track section. “Patients are directed to this section for urgent needs, such as a laceration or orthopedic injury,” Dr. Handler explains. “Our goal is to have the patient evaluated, treated and discharged within 90 minutes.”
  • An enhanced waiting room, with new amenities and upgraded lighting. For children, a separate pediatric waiting room has activity tables and a bright color scheme.

“They’re beautiful spaces, but we still don’t want you to have to spend time there,” says Dr. Handler. “Our goal is to bring the patient to a provider immediately. However, the department offers state-of the-art intake and results pending areas.”

Advanced technology has been added as well. “Through the generosity of donors, we’ve been able to bring very high-tech equipment into our ED,” says Dr. Handler. “We’ve updated our stretchers, monitors and more.

“More than ever, we can truly offer our patients care in a state-of-the-art Emergency Department.”

‘The ED Is A Safe Place To Be’

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people avoided getting medical care for fear of being exposed to the virus in a health care setting. “Even today, we see patients coming in a bit later in their disease process,” says Eric Handler, DO, Chairman of Emergency Medicine. “They’re showing up sicker than they used to. If you have chest pain, abdominal pain or stroke-like symptoms, you should not wait to come to the ED. We really want to get that message out.”

Upon arrival, all patients are screened for possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure within the past 14 days. Unlike early in the pandemic, rapid tests can determine whether the virus is present. As needed, patients can be isolated from the general ED population in separate waiting and treatment rooms. “The spread of infection is mitigated by negative air pressure, a ventilation system that prevents airborne diseases from escaping by filtering air before it moves outside,” says Dr. Handler.

In an emergency, call 911. Learn more about services available at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.