RPA Design Creates a Better Patient Emergency Department Experience at CaroMont Health

Caromont Regional Medical Center Emergency Department RPA Design

Today’s Emergency Departments are taking on new layouts, materials palettes, and operational efficiencies in an effort to provide a pleasing and patient-centric experience while also increasing through-put efficiencies.  Across the country, healthcare organizations are continuing to respond to the evolving marketplace by making process improvement changes to treat existing patients in a more efficient manner. In order to do this, we are re-thinking layouts that speed up through-put and improving aesthetics to make the front door appeal to their hospital as pleasing an experience as possible not only for the patient, but for their loved ones.

“The Emergency Department is by far the first introduction to the hospital for many patients, with an average of 70% of admissions resulting from a trip to the E.D. It is the “front door” now for the community and their experience matters.”  Eric Krempa, Associate AIA, ED Specialist at RPA Design.  Dealing with long wait times, longer patient turnaround times and low satisfaction scores for both patients and staff, CaroMont Health wanted to make innovative design changes that would improve these shortfalls for their 100,000 annual patient census.



CaroMont’s initial goals included more efficient intake of patients, enhanced HIPAA compliance, improved patient and staff satisfaction and the ability to provide a safer environment for all within the existing E.D.  The 25,400 square foot renovation and 32,200 square foot addition included targeted relocations of adjacent spaces to make room for the enhanced pediatric E.D. program, an addition for expanded support spaces, drive-thru EMS garage and the relocation of the helipad to meet current FAA requirements.


Keeping Care On the Move

RPA designed a new patient entry that created a single point of arrival for adult and pediatric patients where they are greeted by a Triage Nurse who immediately makes an assessment of their needs and routes the patient to the Main E.D. or Pediatric E.D. This whole process is enhanced by the ability to direct patients to a patient room, private triage rooms, or to private cubicles for additional screening and evaluations.

By creating two new clinical zones, Rapid Treatment and Results Lounge, we were able to better route lower acuity patients and to support E.D. patients waiting for test results or discharge. A more private lounge space for patients and family is provided, along with exam rooms and clinical support to move them through the process and create a better overall patient experience.

Caromont Regional Medical Center Emergency Department RPA Design
Caromont Regional Medical Center Emergency Department RPA Design

Creating a Warmer Welcome

Whether freestanding, located on a hospital campus, or focused on a particular patient population, Emergency Departments are turning to color, comfortable furnishings, custom millwork, and dedicated family spaces to promote a serene and safe environment for all. Welcoming and well maintained environments transform the perception of care. “We are moving away from sterile or institutional like settings and adding warm materials and color palettes, residential style furnishings, decorative lighting and a variety of artwork, with a focus on the community.”  Sarah Peterson, Interior Designer, RPA Design.

Our team was able to improve both the form and function of CaroMont Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department to enhance healthcare delivery and patient experience.

Project Spotlight: Cape Fear Valley Health – Pavilion Hoke

The Cape Fear Valley Health Pavilion Hoke is designed as a gateway to the adjacent 41-bed Hoke Hospital. This first phase of the new 60-acre wellness campus includes an outpatient center, clinical services, and physician practices. The outpatient center houses an urgent care, primary and specialty care, imaging, a women's center, pharmacy and community conference center.

Project Spotlight: Rice Estate Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility

As the Senior Living market continues to grow, RPA Design is constantly adapting to the needs of this developing community. This week’s Project Spotlight is the Rice Estate Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility in Columbia, South Carolina. This addition expands the existing Rice Estate campus to include 44 private skilled nursing beds and rehabilitation center. The rehab center includes a physical therapy gym, ADL cottage and spaces for speech and occupational therapy. Also included in this new addition is a town center complete with a soda shop, country store, and salon. Contemporary touches and a comforting color scheme make this space appealing to residents of all ages.


Project Spotlight: Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center – Charlotte, NC

The newly completed Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center in Charlotte, North Carolina is the largest of its kind in the United States. This 295,000 square foot facility includes Imaging, Mental Health, Primary Care, Surgery, Women’s Health, Dental, Eye Care, and Physical Therapy services just to name a few. Meant to serve over 35,000 veterans annually, this new clinic is a welcome addition to the Charlotte community. From conception to reality, RPA Design partnered with the best consultants in engineering and construction to develop a state of the art facility that will operate for years to come.

Project Spotlight: The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge

The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge in Blowing Rock, North Carolina is located on 68 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The arts and crafts architectural style is designed to fit into the mountain environment using natural elements such as timber and stone.  The 112-bed facility is designed with a neighborhood concept offering various levels of care in comfortable, home-like environments.  The short term, post-acute rehab care neighborhood includes physical, occupational and speech therapies.  The skilled nursing neighborhood is designed to offer the highest level of long-term care in a comfortable, private and dignified setting. 

There is an additional 20-bed memory care neighborhood specially planned to provide a safe and familiar environment for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss. A medical clinic and retail pharmacy are also included in the facility for the convenience of the residents.


Project Spotlight: Southeastern Sports Medicine at Mission Pardee

Southeastern Sports Medicine is a clinic of Pardee Hospital providing comprehensive sports medicine and orthopedic care. This 6,800 square foot clinic is located above the new Fletcher YMCA in Fletcher, NC and includes twelve exam rooms, an x-ray room, fluoroscopy, and procedure rooms. RPA Design is proud to have provided architecture and interior design services for this project. The bold blues and playful patterns bring life to the design of the space creating an energetic environment for patients.