New state-of-the-art emergency department at Old Bridge hospital will provide for growing population

OLD BRIDGE – It is just the beginning for a new state-of-the-art emergency department at Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center-Old Bridge.

Hospital officials broke ground on a $39 million investment encompassing 24,000 square feet – more than double the current footprint.

With 25,000 visits annually already, a new emergency department will provide safer, faster arrivals by adding additional ambulance bays, newly designed pediatric rooms and new on-site technology with equipment that will provide more accurate diagnostics and treatment. Additionally, it will include greater privacy, comfort and immediate patient triage.

Thomas Shanahan, CPA, chief operating officer at Raritan Bay Medical Center, has said when the original emergency department was built, it was sized appropriately to accommodate the patient volume. But now the population in Old Bridge and the surrounding communities has grown exponentially, beyond the intended capacity of the department, he said.

“At Hackensack Meridian Health, our focus is to provide the best health care experience possible and today we see Raritan Bay Medical Center is doing just that by creating an accessible brand new emergency care facility,” said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

Hospital officials conducted a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 28. The construction of the state-of-the-art emergency department wing is expected to begin in June and take two years, according to officials.

“At Raritan Bay Medical Center Old Bridge, we are committed to serving our neighbors, friends and families by providing the best care for our growing community,” Shanahan said. “The expansion of the emergency department will allow us unprecedented access to optimizing patient outcomes.”

In addition, the expansion will now connect all three buildings together with a new main lobby and concourse. By combining the three buildings via a new concourse, it will create an interconnected system, allowing patients and staff to move easily throughout. The redesign will serve all physicians, medical staff, patients and visitors.

In addition, the expansion will include a 2,300-square-foot imaging program; 1,400-square-foot emergency department waiting room/reception area; 8,400-square-foot new main lobby and concourse; and a 700-square-foot retail pharmacy.

“This expansion will allow us to serve more patients with cardiac issues, stroke, trauma and other core services,” said William DiStanislao, vice president of operations and executive site director at Raritan Bay-Old Bridge. “We looking forward to serving more patients by delivering the highest quality care to every person who comes through our doors.”

DiStanislao has said the new emergency room will feature a four-bed crisis wing for behavioral/mental health cases at the Old Bridge hospital campus. Along with the new emergency wing, the plans provide re-engineering of the parking lot to allow more efficient parking and valet service; adding computer screens/electronic boards for patients; and adding an around-the-clock Starbucks affiliation in the hospital reception area.

To learn more about supporting the new emergency department, contact Linda Hill, executive director of the Raritan Bay Medical Center Foundation, at 732-324-5376 or linda.hill@hackensackmeridian.org.