More Space, Privacy, and Efficiency Among the Features of New Emergency Department

Princeton HealthCare System Foundation Princeton HealthCare System Foundation

As the new Emergency Department (ED) at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) takes a more defined shape each day, so too do its many improvements, from space enhancements to state-of-the-art equipment upgrades and additions. 

“The ED is the first point of contact for many hospital users,” noted Craig Gronczewski, MD, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP). “It is a critical aspect of any hospital.”

Increased square footage, improved flow of patients and data, and enhanced patient privacy are some of the most transformative improvements of the new ED. Thirty-five private rooms in 20,000 square feet of space will allow for up to 70,000 patient visits per year. In comparison, the existing ED was designed to treat 24,000 patients annually, though the actual number of patients served is much higher.

Specialized areas of care include a behavioral health evaluation and treatment unit with lock-down capabilities and a designated pediatric acute care area that will benefit from the existing partnership with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, there will be a dedicated Senior Services ED, which reflects a growing demographic trend in the community; Dr. Gronczewski pointed out that by the year 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 years of age or older. Other augmented services will include Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME), an on-site pharmacist, emergency angioplasty, and therapeutic hypothermia capabilities.

Dr. Gronczewski emphasized, “No patient comes to the ED to wait.” To that end, the UMCPP layout has been designed to increase overall efficiency while decreasing patients’ waiting time. Adjacent to the triage rooms will be the RME, where vital statistics and other assessments can be obtained simultaneously. The Radiology Department is adjoined to the ED, allowing for efficient X-ray and scanning evaluations.

 “We prefer to direct all patients into immediate treatment areas as soon as they walk in,” asserted Dr. Gronczewski. An internal results waiting area will also enable patients to be evaluated and treated more quickly. 

Dr. Gronczewski and his wife, Vanessa, have also demonstrated their support for the new hospital by personally donating to the Design for Healing campaign and naming a room (the Gronczewski Bereavement Room) in the new ED. In this space, physicians and family members will be able to confer privately. He noted, “My wife and I both worked in the Emergency Department. We understand the importance of families having a peaceful and safe place to go during the most traumatic of moments.”

Dr. Gronczewski’s group, Princeton Emergency Physicians, PA, which staffs the ED at UMCP, also supported the hospital with a generous gift to the campaign. 

Pictured above, left to right: Drs. Peter Cridge, Craig Gronczewski, Joe F. Hamlett, and Chuck McHugh of Princeton Emergency Physicians, PA, in the Emergency Department at the new UMCPP.