Anesthesia Team Brings Experience to the OR
Featured in the Fall/Winter 2015 Edition of UMMC Midtown Campus Connections
Patients undergoing surgery at UMMC Midtown Campus can rest assured that the professionals in charge of their anesthesia are top-notch.
In October 2015, UMMC Midtown Campus welcomed a new anesthesia team led by faculty from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). The 15 anesthesiologists and 20 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) bring with them a solid track record of collaboration with their surgeon colleagues. With a wide range of expertise in community and academic medicine, they offer patients the safest and highest quality care.
To further coordinate care across the UMMC University and Midtown campuses, the UMSOM anesthesia team stepped in after the end of a contract that UMMC Midtown Campus had with a privately owned anesthesia company.
“The partnership with the UMSOM Department of Anesthesiology adds to the breadth and depth of our capabilities at Midtown, and will enable greater collaboration and clinical integration of surgical services across both campuses,” said Michael Lilly, MD, professor of surgery at the UMSOM and chief of surgery at UMMC Midtown Campus. “This integration enhances our ability to provide first-rate surgical care for patients of all complexity levels, in the optimal setting for patients, their families and their practitioners.”
Before UMMC Midtown Campus became a second location of UMMC in 2013, only 7 percent of surgeries here were performed by UMSOM faculty physicians. Now, 70 percent of surgeries and procedures are done by UMSOM faculty. In fiscal year 2015, UMMC Midtown Campus physicians completed 6,050 surgical cases, including orthopaedic, trauma, podiatric, eye, vascular and general surgeries – all of which required some level of anesthesia.
“One of the biggest misconceptions patients have is that there is just one way to give anesthesia,” said Tedric Henneghan, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology at the UMSOM and interim chief of anesthesiology at UMMC Midtown Campus. “Patients should know that there are several ways to deliver anesthesia, including local and regional anesthesia. With both, you don’t feel pain because the area that is being operated on is numb from the local medication or nerve block. You’re not totally unconscious like you would be with general anesthesia, but are moderately sedated and comfortable throughout the procedure.”
According to Henneghan, standardization of anesthesia procedures over the years has made the practice very safe, and patients considering surgery should not worry.
“As always, there are going to be risks with every procedure,” he said. “However, to ensure the safety of patients, we regularly evaluate all aspects of administering anesthesia – how it’s induced, the amount being given and how we respond during crisis.”
Clinical staff within UMMC Midtown Campus’ new Department of Anesthesiology have enhanced anesthetic and analgesic (pain management) techniques and approaches that will greatly benefit the hospital’s surgical patients.
“Our physicians and CRNAs are well-versed in all types of anesthesia, with broad competencies and access to more resources, including the latest in anesthesiology research and a strong departmental program in patient safety and quality of care,” said Peter Rock, MD, MBA, professor and chairman of anesthesiology at the UMSOM and chief of anesthesiology at UMMC’s University Campus.
According to Suzy Falconer, MA, PMP, administrator of surgical services, the new anesthesia team has shown eagerness and excitement to be at UMMC Midtown Campus.
“We want people who don’t see this as just a job, but as a calling in life and a passion, and I see that with this group,” Falconer said.
“In my time at Midtown, we have designed and built an entirely new OR, and retooled the perioperative enterprise in a way that has attracted both faculty and community surgeons, and now we have exceptional anesthesia partners to complete the team,” said Lilly. “I couldn’t be more excited about this transition.”