Archive ORX Session Previews 2017

Anesthesia Service That Delights Surgeons and Patients

A regional skill set, an aggressive approach and continuity are the keys to a good provider.

Gregory Hickman

Gregory Hickman, MD


OR Excellence

A talented anesthesiologist can make everyone at your facility look better. After all, most patients only know that despite their fears and anxiety, the pain turned out to be not so bad, and that this time they had no nausea! Those are the keys, says Gregory V. Hickman, MD, the medical director and anesthesia director of the Andrews Ambulatory Surgery Center in Gulf Breeze, Fla. If you can manage pain and nausea, you can do almost any case in an outpatient setting. Practitioners who understand innovative regional techniques, he says, are the key to keeping not only patients happy, but also your surgeons, administrators and staff.

Why regional? At Andrews, we've done more than 25,000 blocks in the last 10 years. Our regional practice is what helped us be so successful. Especially in the orthopedic world, there's much more you can do with good regional anesthesia. You can basically go from head to toe: shoulders, hands, elbows, knees, feet, ankles and hips. And now people are doing total joints all over the country in outpatient settings. You've got to be able to manage the pain to be able to get those kinds of cases in and out.

Preventing PONV. Pain and opioids are 2 of the most common causes of nausea. Regional helps minimize both. Our post-op nausea rate is less than 2%.

Facility expectations. You should insist that your anesthesiologists be trained at least in the basics of regional anesthesia. Ideally, you want someone who's not right out of fellowship, someone who has a bit of experience. Unfortunately, only a fairly small percentage of anesthesiologists have that training. And most providers over age 40 are not going to be well trained at regional — unless they've trained on their own.

Gregory V. Hickman, MD

speaker profile
arrow Medical director of the famed Andrews Ambulatory Surgery Center in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
arrow Co-founder of the popular ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia education website,
arrow Has 27 years of experience specializing in regional anesthesia and post-op pain management.
New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

The Nurse Manager's Role in Patient Safety

It's your responsibility to create an environment that ensures staff remain vigilant about protecting those in their care.

Intro Letter - OR Excellence 10th Anniversary Preview

Mixed Reality in Surgery: Dare to Creatively Disrupt

The first surgeon to ever use Google Glass in the OR touts the technology that's poised to redefine how you perform surgery.