Up and Running: Kapiolani Medical Center’s New Emergency Department

“Working in the new emergency department has been like a dream for me and for the entire emergency team,” Dr. Paul Eakin said. He certainly has great perspective. Dr. Eakin has been with the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children for 15 years, and now serves as division head for Pediatric Emergency Medicine. It’s been a significant expansion. The inspiring work space is 15,000 square feet, which is twice as large as before. Its new location in the Diamond Head Tower means the department is right next to the parking garage and has allowed for eight extra rooms, for a total of 24 private rooms. “It is the fruition of years of effort, planning and hard work and to be able to care for patients in a more private and comfortable environment has been so fulfilling,” Dr. Eakin said.

Kapiolani is also seeing an increase in patient visits since the new emergency department opened in December. And patients are experiencing quicker, more convenient access to family-centered care. A new satellite imaging department within the emergency department also means patients won’t have to wait for x-rays. Larger patient rooms also allow for in-room ultrasounds, eliminating the need to move people to the radiology department All of this means family members can be in their loved one’s room if necessary and more tests are easily available. As the only hospital in the Pacific to hold a Level III pediatric trauma center designation, Kapiolani is critical to the health and well-being of our keiki.

A design feature that is both aesthetically pleasing as well as functionally innovative is transparency doors. “These doors have been a really popular feature, especially for the younger patients who think that it is ‘magic’ as they watch the glass switch from clear to opaque and back,” Dr. Eakin said. “Of course it also offers improved privacy and gives us the option to see a patient in the room clearly with the door closed. Overall, the rooms are fantastic—bigger, all private and there is plenty of entertainment to enjoy on the televisions that the kids and parents appreciate.”

Kapiolani’s new emergency department has made an instant impact on patients, pediatric and adults, and the staff, including Dr. Eakin. “Personally, I look forward to working each shift in the ED and I am sure I will do so for years to come.”