HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Heart patients at the Queen's Medical Center now have access to a rare piece of equipment. The state-of-the-art imaging machine is part of a multi-million dollar makeover at the hospital's cardiac wing.
Queen's officials say the project is part of a $22 million reinvestment in the oldest and largest cardiac program in Hawaii.
Eighty-six-year-old Joe Hammer is at the Queen's Medical Center for an angiogram. He's one of the first to relax in the newly-renovated cardiac recovery unit.
"This is a lot better," Hammer said. "Got the view and all that good stuff if you can turn the bed around, and it's quite nice."
From the flowers adorning the walls to the soothing sounds you might find at a spa, every inch of the 20-bed wing is designed to calm heart patients.
"When you come into a procedure, and you really don't know what the outcome is going to be, it's important to just kind of alleviate a lot of that anxiety," Kapuna Montgomery, cardiac recovery manager, said.
This GE Innova is the star of the redesigned cardiac cath labs. Hospital officials say the digital machine provides clear images of a heart and its arteries, and can reveal any disease or blockages.
"This is like the fourth in the world, the first in the western United States," Melvin Komatsu, cardiac invasive services manager, said. "And it's a very nice technology that offers the highest resolution and the lowest radiation dose, which is good for the patient."
Because of this rare piece of equipment, doctors here expect to serve cardiac patients from the neighbor islands and beyond.
But they say good healthcare starts with a staff with a big heart.
"That team along with the technology, I think, is a really, really good package that we kind of have in place," Komatsu said.