NHRMC Emergency Department Expansion Begins

May 07, 2015

WILMINGTON, NC – New Hanover Regional Medical Center, to provide a more comprehensive approach to emergency healthcare, is doubling the size and completely renovating its 17th Street Emergency Department, the busiest emergency department in Southeastern North Carolina.

The expansion and upgrade project begins May 21 and will enable the department to offer more convenience, efficiency and comfort while helping patients connect with community resources to help them stay well.

The plan, scheduled for completion in spring 2017, allows for seamless treatment as all services provided in the department will remain fully operational during the expansion.

Throughout the two-year project, emergency patients arriving by car will be directed to the new emergency entrance to the right of the hospital’s main front entrance. Red signs will designate the new entrance, a drive-up emergency parking lane by the entrance and emergency parking in the lot in front of the NHRMC Zimmer Center.

A team of staff, hospital police and volunteers will be stationed at the new Emergency Department entrance to provide guidance, check in patients, and assist with parking. Ambulance Drive will continue to be the main entry point for EMS ground transportation.

The project was designed with input from patients, families, physicians and staff. The team used Lean methodology to create a more efficient and effective space to better serve patients.

“Emergency medicine is evolving and this design allows us to streamline patient flow, use the latest in emergency care technology, and put patient needs at the forefront,” says Christy Spivey, NHRMC Administrator of Emergency Departments and Trauma Services. “These changes will optimize emergency care and put every square foot of space to work for the benefit of the patients we serve.”

The new Emergency Department design includes an:

  • Increase of overall space from 17,800 square feet to 48,000 square feet
  • Increase of patient care spaces from 54 to 108, including specific rooms for pediatrics, patients with varying levels of illness or injury, and behavioral health patients
  • Ability to care for more than 104,000 patients visits a year, up from the current rate of more than 80,000 visits a year

The new design incorporates advanced technology for faster lab results and digital diagnostics. This allows physicians to interpret results sooner and gives patients an improved experience and quicker treatment time.

The project is designed by BBH Design and constructed by Rodgers Builders. The total cost of the project, including construction, equipment, furniture and permitting, is $24.7 million.

The direct benefits of the expansion to patients and family members also include:

  • Separate entrances for trauma and non-trauma patients to enhance patient flow
    • A Patient Resource Office on site with a dedicated team of community care staff including social workers, case managers, financial counselors and care teams to answer questions, connect patients with community resource referrals and facilitate follow-up care
    • Outdoor waiting garden for family members