HONOLULU (KHON2) — Major renovations are underway at Queen’s Medical Center on Punchbowl Street. Officials said they plan to spend more than $1 billion to expand services and create more space for patients and staff.
The first phase of renovations begins in August in the emergency room. They’re not going to tear it down. The plan is to expand it to double its size.
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As the only Level 1 trauma center in the state, Queen’s Emergency Department is also the busiest, treating up to 180 patients daily. The plan is to add more beds and expand services by extending it to the neighboring building and going up three floors.
“So we will have patient beds where they can spend the night. We can observe them better, reduce crowding and congestion in the emergency department for those who are really sick and really need emergency care,” said Jason Chang, president of Queen’s Medical Center.
This is just the beginning. The master plan will come into effect in a few years and will demolish up to seven old low-rise buildings across campus.
Chang said patient services will not be interrupted. The main wing of the hospital will remain as is. He added that behavioral health patients in the Kekela ward will be moved to another facility before that building is demolished.
“It will be nearby and also convenient for patients,” Chang said. “And we’re not going to cut services. So across the whole project, whether it’s the emergency department or the new towers, we won’t limit or restrict access to care.
Chang said at least 1,200 parking spaces will be added. He said Queen’s will work with city and state authorities to minimize the impact on traffic. Another improvement that patients and visitors will appreciate: making the place less labyrinthine so people don’t get lost.
“And rely on very smart architects to help us find the right layout and make it easy for patients to get to where they need to go,” Chang said.
He added that the improvements will also create more wellness spaces, not only for patients, but also for workers.
“By giving them the opportunity to get outside and see the sunlight, they can get a little break to get away from it and not have to be in the constant chaos that sometimes happens in a unit,” Chang said.
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He said it would take about 10 years to do it all. The projected cost is $1.4 billion.