University Hospital unveiled a new patient welcome area at its Ambulatory Care Center using best practices for physical distancing to facilitate easy access to clinical offices. 

As the City of Newark, and New Jersey in general, continue to see fewer cases of COVID-19 since the peak earlier this year, the hospital said its modernized waiting room will provide a smoother patient flow and a single location for all pre-appointment processing at the Center, located at 140 Bergen Street in Newark.

In adherence with local and state health guidance, the new space has been designed with appropriate health and physical distancing measures in mind, so patients can be confident it is safe to return to the facility for routine medical care.

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“University Hospital is building and adapting to a new normal in health care as we emerge from this unprecedented public health emergency,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital. 

“This new waiting area for the Ambulatory Care Center provides an extra layer of protection for our patients and staff as we continue to modernize for the current realities of daily living.”

Elnahal said the space conforms to University Hospital’s new model of care, taking into account best practices in patient relations that will in result in decreased wait times, optimum interactions with clinicians, and coordinated care across all medical specialties.

“Routine care is integral to preventing treatable health conditions from becoming larger, more emergent, and even life-threatening health problems,” said Dr. William Holubek, chief medical officer of University Hospital. “Our Ambulatory Care Center has returned to full operation and we encourage patients to schedule regular appointments knowing we are taking the precautions necessary to keep them safe.”    

Located adjacent to the hospital, patients coming to the Ambulatory Care Center will continue to arrive at the Center’s main entrance on ground level. Security staff will direct patients to the new waiting room, where patients will register, provide insurance information as applicable, and await appointments in a clean and serene environment. 

Advanced patient technology will automatically inform specific physician practices when a patient is ready to be seen. Monitors in this new waiting area will show patients where they are in the queue for care. When they are ready to be seen, patients will be instructed to proceed upstairs to their appointments.

Constructed using materials that can be easily cleaned and sanitized, the new space is a calm area with features designed to deter the spread of virus and bacteria. This renovation is a significant, additional step in the hospital’s Care Around the Clock program, which was launched to assure the community that the hospital is open for routine medical care, emergencies, acute care, surgery, and an array of additional programs and services.