Construction to begin Monday on Queen's Medical Center-West Oahu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Construction to begin Monday on Queen's Medical Center-West Oahu

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EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Five months after acquiring the former Hawaii Medical Center West, Queen's Medical Center is about to begin construction on its new Ewa campus and some high-tech changes are in the works.

Queen's received its demolition permit last week, so much of the existing facility will soon be transformed when construction starts Monday on QMC-West Oahu.

"We have been doing what's called 'make ready'," said Susan Murray, senior vice president of Queen's Health Systems. "So taking down some ceiling tiles, looking beneath, seeing what is and what needs to be done and then marking the walls that need to be demolished."

The preparation is the first stage of a more than $70 million renovation project.

The emergency department is completely gutted, but will soon be three times larger with more than 20 patient bays.

The operating rooms and intensive care units will also get an upgrade and receive state-of-the-art equipment.

"Radiology images, cat scan images, MRI images will be transmitted probably to every room in this hospital," said Dr. Whitney Limm, Queen's Medical Center Vice President Clinical Integration and Director of the Kidney Transplant Center. "We'll have electronic medical record systems, so records can be accessed immediately."

The shutdown of HMC West in December 2011 forced nearly 30,000 patients to find treatment outside of leeward Oahu.  

Transplants will still be done at Queens' main campus, but the new location is expected to be much more convenient.

"We'll be doing general surgery procedures, orthopedic procedures, urology procedures," Yimm said. "Patients who live out on this side of the island won't have to travel downtown to have their procedures done."

Queen's is planning to hire more than 400 employees before the hospital opens in spring 2014.  

Murray says many leeward Oahu residents she has spoken to are eager for the facility to open.

"There is a real sense of anticipation and I'm thrilled with that because I want this to be something the community embraces and owns," Murray said. "Not just for ED (Emergency Department) services, certainly for that, but beyond that, to be part of the neighborhood, to be part of keeping their families healthy."

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