The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu resumed non-emergency surgeries today at its main operating room after gradually reopening clinics and other outpatient services over the past three weeks.
Hospitals had scrambled to close clinics, reduce outpatient services and cancel elective and nonemergency surgeries in March to make room for a surge in coronavirus cases and, potentially, mass casualties. But as the number of COVID-19 cases dropped, Hawaii did not see the anticipated peak in cases, leaving hospital beds empty with signficant losses in revenue.
Queen’s said it has since seen a “steady decline” in the number of symptomatic people tested and the number of positive COVID-19 cases each week.
“In response to the needs of our patients and the community, we began the meticulous process of expanding our health care services and are continuing to provide the safest and highest quality care possible,” Queen’s President and CEO Jill Hoggard Green said in a news release.
Queen’s said it will maintain safety precautions including screening everyone entering its hospitals and requiring them to wear masks and sanitize their hands. The hospital will provide masks for patients who do not have one and has adjusted seating in its waiting rooms to allow for physical distancing. It also has banned visitors in hospitals, imaging departments and clinics. Patients with appointments are allowed to be accompanied by a single caregiver.
Hospital staff have been trained in the latest guidelines by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and have enough personal protective equipment on hand to safely care for patients, Queen’s said, adding that all equipment, surfaces and public areas are cleaned with disinfectants approved for killing the COVID-19 virus.
“Our No. 1 priority is the safety and well-being of our caregivers, our patients and the community. With the added precautions we have taken, we can continue to safely meet Hawaii’s health care needs,” Green said.
The Queen’s Health Systems began opening clinics and outpatient services on April 27 at Queen’s-Punchbowl, Queen’s-West, and Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital, Molokai General Hospital and the Queen’s Health Care Centers.
Patients can contact their providers directly to schedule an appointment or find a physician at queens.org/findadoctor.