From Dr. Jones
There will always be anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses and CEO’s that will say “That will never work here,” or “It doesn’t make a big difference anyway,”or “This costs too much to do.” When I first started learning about continuous blocks, I really didn’t know myself whether it was possible to be successful in a private practice setting or not. That question has been answered affirmatively for me many times over, and many people I have worked with along the way have had significant changes in their opinions as well.
I have encountered significant resistance in the past, though some who were most ardently opposed to this kind of change have become some of the most outspoken proponents in the end. Here are a few of the testimonials that I have received about the differences that people have experienced after instituting a continuous peripheral nerve block program at their hospital. It is my desire that you would have the same experiences at your facility and in your community.
The patient in the image to the left had a TOTAL KNEE ARTHROPLASTY 2 HOURS PRIOR TO WHEN THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN. I don’t mean 2 hours since he left the PACU; I mean 2 hours since the surgeon finished putting on his bandage. He had no opioids during or after the surgery. He has a normal blood pressure. He has no nausea. He is not sedated. He is using a walker on his own during his first physical therapy session after reaching greater than 90 degrees of knee flexion. He has no pain.
You would think the person standing with me in the next photo is in the hospital to see a friend or family member. This man actually had an OPEN CHOLECYSTECTOMY (incision from his breast bone to just above his navel) less than 24 hours prior to when this photo was taken. He took one pain pill overnight and is GOING HOME THE DAY AFTER THIS SURGERY. He will go home with a continuous infusion of local anesthetic through two thin catheters that enter the top of his abdomen that are attached to a disposable pump. He had been concerned by the stories that family members had been telling him about the dreadful pain he was about to face. Fortunately, his experience was quite different from theirs!
These recoveries are amazing…but they not unusual at our hospital. I could talk to you all day about our differences in length of stay and decreased utilization of health care resources that we see on a weekly basis. I think, however, that the testimonials that you see in photos like these as well as the comments you will read on other pages of this site are the ones that REALLY MATTER!
If you don’t think the ‘extra effort’ you go through to establish a continuous nerve block program will make a difference to your PATIENTS, let me set the record straight for you! First of all, let me state that none of the testimonials from patients were requested by me. These patients ASKED ME what they could do to help me continue my work! Secondly, many of my patients have gone out of their way to contact my hospital administration specifically to comment positively about their post-operative pain control. And by the way, our HCAHPS Patient Satisfaction rank for post-operative pain control has consistently been in the 97-98th percentile since the first quarter of 2012. Lastly, the personal displays of thanks and appreciation that I receive from patients and family is overwhelming! When was the last time that a patient and their family went out of their way at the conclusion of their hospitalization to buy a gift for FOR AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST that you can recall??? At least from MY perspective, it makes all the hard work well worth the trouble.
Jerry Jones M.D.