Reducing Hospital Stays with Multimodal Analgesia

Part of the work of an anesthesiologist at a research and teaching hospital is to study the effects of various treatments to determine best practices in a field, given the latest medications and technologies available. Recent research shows that certain practices in anesthesiology can help reduce post-operative pain and decrease the amount of time patients remain in the hospital following certain operations. Those practices include:

– Taking a multimodal approach to analgesia. Administering anesthetics and pain medication in more than one class in order to block multiple types of pain receptors in patients has been linked with better overall outcomes. In studies, multimodal analgesia during surgery led to less intense pain following surgery.

– Administering analgesics prior to beginning surgery. Rather than beginning patient-controlled pain medication following surgery, administering such treatment before surgery led to lower overall consumption of opiates and lower rates of side effects (including nausea) associated with such drugs. Participation in rehabilitation programs also proved higher in the preemptive group.

About John Gerancher:

During his time as Section Head of Wake Forest University’s Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management Section, John Gerancher developed processes to improve patient outcomes, including computer software systems to guide the implementation of multimodal analgesia.

John Galt Operating Room Computer Software at WFSM, By John Gerancher

It is crucial for surgeons and anesthesiologists to have all the information they need directly at hand in the operating room. John Galt is the name given to a specialized computer software system that documents the process of patient care electronically. At Wake Forest School of Medicine, the system gives guidance on using perioperative antibiotics, or antibiotics used before, during, and after surgery.

The use of this operating system helps provide information that ensures that the correct perioperative antibiotics are used at the appropriate moment, with the information derived from that placed in the system by expert representatives. This software is just one innovation made by the school to improve quality of care for patients.

About the Author: John Gerancher, who also goes by “John Charles Gerancher” or sometimes just “JC”, was a Professor of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina. John Gerancher was responsible for the design and implementation of John Galt at Wake Forest School of Medicine from 2006-11.

Wake Forest University Anesthesiologist John Gerancher Improved Patient Safety During Surgery

While the development of anesthesiology has been the basis for most modern surgical interventions, its use initially posed risks to patients. Over the course of the 20th century, however, practices and technology improved, allowing the profession to now attribute only one intraoperative death in 200,000 to anesthesia, down from one in 1,500 in the 1970s. Additionally, since the 1970s, the number of anesthesiologists in the United States has more than doubled.

One member of this new generation of anesthesiologists, John Gerancher, has made contributions to his profession by developing new approaches in regional and multi-modal analgesia, as well as in antibiotic prophylaxis in surgery. To do this, he designed and implemented documentation processes that relied on patient catheter connectors and computer software, to guide anesthesiologists in caring for patients during surgery. Patient safety during surgery continues to improve because of the dedication and ingenuity of practitioners.