Hoboken University Medical Center’s newest emergency room director Dr. Meika Roberson is more than familiar with the fast-moving emergency room environment and prepared for the work cut out for her. Roberson can frequently be seen with phones pressed to each ear, multitasking with dexterity.
“My position calls for assisting in managing the flow in the emergency department,” said Roberson, “[which calls for] making sure that patients are coming in, getting things done, and being discharged or admitted in a timely fashion.”
“I know a lot about busy emergency departments and improving flow [throughout the department].”
Roberson’s background includes educational training at Emory University in Atlanta, Howard University in Washington, D.C., New York University, and Mt. Sinai’s medical system in New York. Roberson has also worked to make emergency department improvements at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburg, N.Y.
“The best thing in any hospital is a complete team effort and approach to every patient.” – Dr. Meika Roberson
“I was in the Mt. Sinai system for many, many years,” she said, “[and] a lot of the things that NYU taught me [were focused on] how to motivate and manage people.”
“With the mentors and leadership that I had, I feel that I know a lot about observational medicine. I feel that this will help me as the leader of this team.”
The emergency room department was upgraded in 2008, according to Roberson.
“It’s really quite a beautiful emergency department. It’s one of the most attractive and aesthetically pleasing emergency departments that I’ve seen in the area.”
Within the first two months of her employ, Roberson has largely focused on improving the efficiency of the ER department. One of her main goals is to ultimately eliminate the triage, or the process of determining the order of treatment – based on the urgency of the wounds or affliction – received by ER patients. Thus far, Roberson has rid of the triage system during certain hours of the day, and soon has hopes to get rid of the system entirely.
“A lot of emergency departments are getting rid of the triage station and removing that stop block,” said Roberson. “It’s a process that we’re going through now, so [patients] can come in through the ER and go right to a bed.”
Another focus is to unify the ER department and create a sense of camaraderie.
“We’re working on our teamwork,” said Roberson. “The best thing in any hospital is a complete team effort and approach to every patient.”
Roberson said her main job is to make sure that the HUMC’s facilities are ahead of the curve.
“We’re making sure we stay abreast of what is going [as far as] advancements in medicine, and making sure that we’re bringing all of that to Hoboken.”
“There are exciting changes that are being planned for the future,” said Roberson, “and we’ll make sure to keep the community informed whenever there are new and good things going on here.”
Roberson responded to recent concerns over Holdco, the owners of Hoboken University Center and Bayonne Medical Center, and their recent decision to purchase Jersey City’s Christ Hospital and seek an additional hospital in Rhode Island. The concerns are over whether or not expansion will compromise the resources within both Bayonne and Hoboken’s hospitals.
“I can see how someone would think that resources [may be] taken away from the New Jersey area,” said Roberson. “The owners, Holdco, [however], are very dedicated and invested intellectually, emotionally, and physically with whatever hospital that they are involved with.”
“They’re not a fly by night group,” she added. “They care a lot about the advancements of this institution and the institutions that they’re involved with.”
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at email@example.com.