Challenges Facing the Queen’s Medical Center

Direct Care Project Part 1: Substance Use Assessment and Diagnosis Template
April 24, 2024
Challenges in Health Care Delivery
April 24, 2024
Show all

Challenges Facing the Queen’s Medical Center


Commonly known as Queen’s Hospital, the Queen’s Medical Center is the largest private non-profit hospital in Hawaii. It operates 575 acute care beds. The hospital has 3,600 employees. It is the only designated level I trauma and organ transplantation center in the state of Hawaii. The facility offers a wide range of specialties such as genetics, gynecology, neonatology, psychiatry among other services. It is a leading medical center for programs in cancer, neuroscience, surgery, trauma, organ transplantation,cardiovascular diseases and women’s health. Through Queen Emma clinics, the hospital offers outpatient care which focuses on the uninsured or the underinsured.


The covid-19 pandemic has exposed the center to a number of challenges. When the first case of the virus was confirmed in March 2020, the center opened a testing site in the hospital. The facility had to limit hospital access to the public and adjust visiting hours to reduce spread of the virus. After the surge in covid-19 cases went down, the hospital was able to reschedule appointments, surgeries and procedures that had been delayed. However, the patients have not gone back to the hospital the way it was expected. Clinic visits have gone down by 14%, and the emergency department is down by 38%. The state government requires that the hospital keep 30% of intensive care unit beds open to cater for Covid-19 patients. This results in loss of $45 million a year per bed(American Hospital Association, 2021). The reduction in the number of patients have placed the center in a tight financial situation.

The pandemic also affected the employment rate in the state. Hawaii is dependent on tourism, which was largely affected by the virus. The tourism sector was totally shut down, with many people losing their jobs and insurance. The state of Hawaii is faced with a $1 billion budget deficit due to lost earnings from the tourism industry. This affects the state Medicaid systems which experienced a shortfall of more than $60 million. The Medicaid system is what the center relies on to treat the vulnerable populations. 28% of the Queen’s patients are on the Medicaid program and 40% are on Medicare. Thus, the hospital receives majority of its finances from these state programs. The hospital projected losses are $60 million for the financial year 2021. Without additional financing, the Queen’s Hospital will be unable to meet the medical care needs of the Hawaii people(American Hospital Association, 2021).

Course of Action

The two main issues facing the Queen’s Medical Center is the low number of patients and lack of sufficient funding. The hospital needs to look for solutions to these challenges. There is need to get the message out that the hospital is open and there are safety protocols against covid-19. The demand for elective procedures, minimally invasive and short stay procedures is high in Hawaii. However, the hospital reported an 18% decrease in the demand for these services. Through a campaign labeled Queen’s Prepared to Care, the hospital conducted a community research to find out what would make people confident to look for health services during the pandemic times. The study recommended a more patient-facing cleaning process. However, the patients were still reluctant to visit the hospital to get health services(American Hospital Association, 2021). The hospital should adopt a program where nurses and staff reach out directly to patients to assess what they need to maintain better health. This will ensure that patients are not misinformed regarding their care. Reaching out directly to the patients will improve the people’s confidence in safety protocols at the hospital. People will start to believe that the hospital is concerned with their care.

The hospital is also experiencing a challenge with reimbursement. Majority of their patients are on Medicaid and Medicare programs. Funds from these programs have been withheld as states struggle to balance their budgets due to the pandemic. Patients have also opted to postpone elective care leading to decline in revenue. The hospital is incurring higher monthly expenses than usual. The Queens Hospital requires ways to lower their operational costs(Napier, 2020). The hospital should consider adopting a lean management practice on staffing and inventory. Though, there are various drawbacks to adopting this approach such as being caught short in staff and medical supplies, cost cutting measure are necessary. There is need to adopt practices to minimize overhead and reduce costs, otherwise the hospital will not be able to provide even the minimum care to the community. The hospital administration should figure out which areas can cope with reduced inventory and staff.

The federal and state government should extend funding to support the hospital. The health sector is faced with a $300 billion loss due to covid-19(Napier, 2020). These losses will limit the facilities to meet the medical needs of the people. Though the government is dealing with budget deficits, there is a possibility of channeling non-emergent development funds to bail out the health care sector to ensure it is capable to provide sufficient health care services to the people.







American Hospital Association. (2021). Retrieved 6 September 2021, from

Napier, K. (2020). New Leadership Faces Challenges At Queen’s Health Systems. Hawaii Business News. Retrieved from

The Queen’s Health Systems. (2021). Retrieved 6 September 2021, from