2008 News Stories

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On December 2, 1959, the year of Queen's 100th anniversary, a team of Queen's surgeons performed the first open heart surgery in Hawai’i. "It was considered a huge risk," said Albert Chun, MD, who was one of the surgeons. Queen's has come a long way since then. On August 8, 2008, at 8:08 am, Queen's Heart reopened as a completely redesigned 12,754 square foot, interconnected facility, marking another milestone in the treatment of cardiac disease.

"The remodel is operational as well as physical," notes Cathy Young, RN, Vice President of Patient Care. "Our new operational model connects all the dots and makes it even better for patients." The new model emphasizes one solid team with a mind-body approach to treatment. It gives patients the tools to get well and stay well. Other fairly recent improvements have been Cardiac Curbside, for patients who have no way to get to Queen's, and Cardiac Transfer, which guarantees beds and easy, one-phone call transfers of patients from other hospitals.

While Young emphasizes that Queen's Heart extends far beyond its physical boundaries to include anywhere patients are treated by Queen's practitioners, the remodel conveniently consolidates many of the department's functions. For example, there is now one place for all Queen's Heart patients to get registered, whether they are outpatients or inpatients, and no matter what type of procedure. Bypassing general hospital registration, patients simply take the Pauahi elevators to the third floor, where they are greeted by a soothing, inviting, waiting and registration area. Non-invasive testing, such as electrocardiology (EKG, holter monitoring, etc.), echocardiograms and stress testing are located here.

Just down the hall from the registration/waiting area are four, advanced technology catheterization labs, where invasive procedures are performed. Near the cath labs is a new, 20-bed, cardiac pre- and post-procedure recovery area.

Queen's Heart's physical area is almost mirrored above on the 6th floor, where heart inpatients are cared for. "Basically, you have a heart hospital within The Queen's Medical Center," commented Joana Magno, MD, Chief of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Other advancements put in place this year at Queen's Heart include the beginning of da Vinci robotic open heart surgical techniques; the equipping of 27 ambulances to transmit EKG readings directly to the ER; and the Cardiac Integrative Care program, which offers wellness consults, and mind, body and spirit therapies which complement traditional care.

"It's also been a remarkable year for outcomes," said Dr. Joana Magno. "This year, the mortality rate for acute myocardial infarctions (heart attack) is just 2.6%." Coronary angioplasty is down to 0.88% (the national average is 1.1%), and coronary open heart surgery is 1.2% (1.4% nationally)."

Queen's Heart offers the best and most comprehensive cardiac program in Hawai’i, but the bottom line is the patient—and the Queen's Heart team is committed to the patient in every way.

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