HONOLULU – As Hawai‘i braces for another wave of COVID-19 cases, The Queen’s Health System (Queen’s) has taken a giant, proactive step to increase its ICU capacity. Capping an aggressive construction timetable, Queen’s today announced the completion of a new infectious disease unit on the Queen Emma Tower 9th Floor Diamond Head wing at The Queen’s Medical Center – Punchbowl.
The new “Advanced Respiratory and Emerging Infectious Disease Unit” is modeled after scientifically-proven containment units and will set the standard in airborne and infectious disease control and treatment. It will provide the safest environment for patients and caregivers, help prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health of the community.
The unit, housing 24 patient rooms, will open Monday, October 5. It features:
- Negative pressure technologies, including Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) and High Energy Particulate Arrestors (HEPAs)
- Continuous UV disinfection capability
- “Double filter” entrance and exit ways
- Increased sanitization areas for physicians and staff
- ICU-capable head walls with extra outlets for higher level of care
- Antimicrobial computer equipment
- Video cameras and telehealth technology
Similar upgrades are being made in the Emergency Department, Operating Room, and Post Anesthesia Care Unit.
“Queen’s is prepared to assume a pivotal leadership role in our state as we live, work, and care for patients in this COVID-19 environment. Redesigning this space allows us to contain and treat patients with the virus in a safe environment. We must be prepared to deal with infectious diseases as we reopen Hawai‘i for tourism,” said Jill Hoggard Green, Ph.D., RN, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Queen’s Health System.
With this conversion of existing space, Queen’s takes an important step to advance Hawai‘i’s infectious disease and disaster response preparedness.
“We started work on this project just a few months ago and today we are proud to announce its completion. We want to thank everyone involved who stepped up and worked quickly to get this unit finished. We also send a heartfelt mahalo to our valued donors for their generous support of this project. It will prove to be a valuable resource for us as we continue to deal with the challenges of COVID-19,” said Jason Chang, Chief Operating Officer, The Queen’s Health System.