The Queen’s Medical Center, Women’s Health Center
Who knows what women want? The Queen’s Medical Center might, at least as far as healthcare is concerned.
two years ago, Queen's surveyed 3,000 O'ahu women, asking 88 questions about what
they wanted from their healthcare providers. An impressive 50 percent of women
responded. Some even attached their own pages of handwritten notes. |
In fact, the findings upended Queen's existing plan for a health center focused solely on breast cancer. The survey results convinced the hospital to expand on its original vision and build a comprehensive health center for women. In addition to breast health services, including testing, diagnosis and treatment, the center will offer an array of health and wellness programs in an inviting atmosphere.
"When we got the surveys back, we knew we had to build a comprehensive center for women," says Lindsey Carry, director of the Women's Health Center, which will open this fall. "Although women and men can have the same diseases, they don't always have the same symptoms. Gender-specific care is the latest trend in women's health, where we focus on women and their needs to provide them the best comprehensive care possible."
The Women's Health Center at Queen's will make its debut late this month or early next. The $3.5 million, 10,000-square-foot facility adjoins the new front lobby, which opened in August. Under one roof, patients can find diagnostic services (mammography, ultrasound and bone-density tests, for example), osteoporosis evaluations and treatments, consultations on genetics and menopause, physical therapy and counseling services. The center will also provide other perks, such as wellness workshops, massage and cooking and exercise classes.
"We knew our services were fragmented, and we wanted to bring them together in one easy, accessible place," Carry says. "We help connect patients with our physicians, and there about 1,100 of them. Our role is to bring the women in, build relationships with them, do health assessments, provide diagnostic care, education and prevention and, if they need additional support, we sit down right there with them."
The center doesn't look like your average hospital, either. Queen's designed the facility to look more like an Island hotel, with hardwood floors, large ceiling fixtures, cushy floral print chairs, lots of natural light and carved koa panels. In the reception area, patients will find a concierge, who can help them find a doctor, sign up for classes or, if they're interested, locate a good restaurant downtown. There are four mammography suites, five extra-large ultrasound rooms (with lots of space for family members), a radiology reading area and two treatment rooms for massages and facials.
"Women want this calm, serene, soothing setting to come into, and that's what they deserve," says Sharon Otani, the center's operation manager. "But what they're going to judge us by is patient care, how we're dealing with them."
Healthcare is a business, after all, and customer service is key. The center offers women more than just routine doctors' appointments. It creates a total experience.
Women diagnosed with cancer, for instance, will be assigned a navigator, a nurse to guide them from diagnosis to treatment-scheduling appointments, joining support groups and so on.
"It's all about reducing anxiety for patients," Otani says. "We give them the education they need, hold their hand if they need it. Medicine tends to be difficult sometimes, and we help them understand their choices and individualize their programs."
The Women's Health Center will also introduce a new bone-density scanning machine, which detects osteoporosis or evaluates risk for the disease. This new technology cuts down test time from half an hour to five minutes.
"It's a privilege for us to take care of a patient," Otani says. "I always want to remember how much patients are placing themselves in our hands. They're baring themselves to us physically and emotionally, and we really want to honor that by giving them the best care possible."