Hospital Expands To Meet ER Needs

More than 30,000 patients pass through Castle Medical Center’s emergency rooms annually — a number that has doubled in the last 20 years. That’s why the Kailua hospital’s ER is still open, even in the midst of needed renovation and expansion.

The facility’s 18 rooms will soon become 25 in a two-phase project that began last November, bringing the department up from 7,500 square feet to 12,000. In June, 13 of the rooms should be finished, with the remaining 12 done by November.

Only 13 rooms in the ER are operational right now, but hospital vice president of operations Travis Clegg said that things have been running smoothly so far. “There’s really been minimal wait time, which helps,” Clegg said. “When we can be efficient and move people through quickly … that really helps to minimize the impact to patients.

“We did lose some rooms, but we have the best staff. We have amazing physicians and amazing staff. We’re very efficient, but we’re also very, very compassionate.”

During construction, the hospital also has been offering extra amenities, such as free valet parking and patient callbacks.

The 51-year-old Castle Medical Center is in the midst of a four-year construction streak that has seen renovations in its lobby, as well as its outpatient imaging, pharmacy, laboratory, chemotherapy and behavioral health units, among others. After the ER project, the hospital will focus on installing additional services at Castle Professional Center in Kaneohe and its recently purchased Kailua Professional Center.

“We’re trying to make sure that we have health care in the community, where it’s needed,” Clegg added. “If you look at what’s happening in these different areas, we’re bringing hospital services out into the community.”