Media gets a tour of Queen's Medical Center West Oahu

New technologies connect downtown hospital with the future hospital in Ewa

Published  7:19 PM HST May 17, 2013
New changes coming for Queens Medical Center West Oahu construction
EWA BEACH, Hawaii -

With demolition permits in hand, crews are getting ready to bring down the walls and build a new Queen's Medical Center West Oahu.

Donning hard hats and construction vests, members of the media took a tour inside the walls of the new hospital.

It's a "before" shot before crews start tearing out the walls next week.

What strikes you the most are the orange lines throughout the hospital.  And this word sums it up -- demo.  Those lines tell workers what needs to go.

"This is a building that's over 20 years old and it needs a lot of work to make new.  So, at the end of this, we will have a new hospital here," said Susan Murray, senior vice president of Queen's Medical Center West Oahu.

The emergency room in the old Hawaii Medical Center West was the second busiest in the state and it will now be tripled in size.  Beds will be increased from 10 to 23.

Two operating rooms will be doubled to four.  Work will be done not only on walls, but in infrastructure to accommodate the specialized lighting and technology used in surgery.

Most of the equipment at the old hospital was sold -- some of it through publicized garage sales.  It was not part of the deal.

Yet, some things still remain.

"You see that x-ray box in the back?' asked Whitney Limm, Queen's Medical Center vice president of clinical integration.  "This hospital, when it was built, they put that in.  We don't use x-ray boxes anymore.  We have monitor images, radiological images, stored and transmitted through the Internet."

The labor-intensive surgeries, like cardiovascular and organ transplants, will remain downtown.

The West Oahu campus will be the community hospital offering general and orthopedic surgeries.

Separated by miles and traffic, but still one Queen's.

"If you do x-ray out here or you get a sound wave study of your heart done here, it can be sent to our central campus where they can read this,' said Robert Hong, Queen's Medical Center chief of staff.  "Our turnaround time should be optimal to patient care."

Queen's officials hope to open the doors to Queen's Medical Center West Oahu in spring of next year.

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