October 26, 2023

Innovative adult Pre-Anesthesia Clinic opens at East Madison Hospital

Exterior of UW Health East Madison Hospital

MADISON, Wis. – A new UW Health clinic aims to take the practice of anesthesia before surgery further to improve patient outcomes and minimize complications.

The health care team at the Pre-Anesthesia Clinic, which opened Oct. 3 at East Madison Hospital, will work with patients to evaluate their individual anesthesiology needs. This evaluation is designed to decrease anesthesia and surgical complications and help patients recover with better outcomes.

Patients scheduled for surgery will be assessed for risks using a health questionnaire as well as a new tool designed for the clinic that scans their electronic medical records. The results from this initial assessment will determine a patient’s individual risks and how they will be prepared for anesthesia and surgery.

The risk of complications may be related to a patient’s unique medical conditions or the complexity of the surgery, according to Dr. William Hartman, medical director, Pre-Anesthesia Clinic, UW Health, and associate professor of anesthesiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

“Some surgeries take several hours and have multiple stages and facets, and making sure the patient, who may have medical complexities of their own, has the exact right type and dose of anesthetics is crucial,” he said. “This clinic will allow us to do this more effectively, tailored to each patient we see in the clinic.”

When a patient is identified for surgery, they may be referred to the clinic for an appointment or a virtual visit in the days or weeks prior to surgery for an evaluation to assess medical conditions that may complicate the surgery, allergies to medications, reactions to anesthetics, age, weight and overall physical health. Then the anesthetist uses the information gathered in advance on the day of the surgery to provide the optimal anesthetic care for the patient.

Though the clinic is located at East Madison Hospital, it serves all UW Health patients in Wisconsin, regardless of where the surgery will take place, including University Hospital, East Madison Hospital and Madison Surgery Center.

The clinic will also advance the practice of anesthesiology across the UW Health system of care, according to Dr. Kelly McQueen, chair, Department of Anesthesiology, UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“The clinic will offer new opportunities for education and training for anesthesia residents and medical students, providing important experience in perioperative medicine and caring for patients before, during and after surgery,” she said.

Additionally, the clinic will study outcomes in surgical patient populations, with the hope of improving the care of all surgical patients.

”While patients have always been evaluated for possible risks prior to surgery, now more patients will have access to comprehensive pre-anesthesiology evaluation because of this new dedicated health team and clinic at UW Health,” McQueen said.

“The clinic will expand our reach and better evaluate and prepare patients for surgery,” she said. “Ultimately, we hope the clinic will lead to improved outcomes and greater patient and family satisfaction.”