Ask Dr. Wills: Why Did Summit Bring Anesthesiology In-House?

Most private orthopedic practices use an independent anesthesiology practice to provide services in surgery centers. Summit Orthopedics hired their own anesthesiologist to head the surgery center at the new Summit Orthopedics Eagan location. Summit surgeon Dr. Nick Wills explains why.

in-house anesthesiology

“At Summit surgery centers, every aspect of care contributes to the total patient experience, and anesthesiology is a critical component,” says Summit surgeon Dr. Nick Wills. Summit wanted to provide an anesthesia experience designed with the same thoughtful care we have invested in our world-class surgery centers, highly trained surgical and rehabilitation teams, and luxurious patient accommodations. It was part of the rationale for a new in-house anesthesiology model for Summit.

Improving patient outcomes

“I feel that our success is a result of the Summit culture’s healthcare mindset and top-down leadership. We are committed to improving patient outcomes. That depends on a variety of factors. Surgical expertise is a given, but how patients feel after surgery is also incredibly important—as is a kind and compassionate approach to care. Hiring the right people is critical, and when we started working with Dr. Doug Dubbink, we knew he had the approach we were looking for.”

In-house anesthesiology leadership

Dr. Dubbink developed the anesthesia protocols for the surgery center at Vadnais Heights, and will be the head of our in-house anesthesiology department at the surgery center at Summit’s Eagan location. “Bringing him in-house is an extension of our multidisciplinary approach to patient outcomes,” Dr. Wills explains. “He brings incredible energy to our mission, attending extra courses and lectures, and meeting with us to present the newest and most innovative advances in anesthesia to incorporate at Eagan. Doug is part of our team and he’s part of Summit.”

Dr. Dubbink’s personal mission as an anesthesiologist is also his charge from Summit: to make patient pain scores better. “Doug works with us; he is invested in more than just getting a surgery done,” Dr. Wills says. “He considers all available resources to improve the patient experience, and that is an entirely different mentality. We are so lucky to have him come work with us.”

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  • Nicholas Wills, M.D.

    “I understand the concern of athletes to get back to their sport and working in combination with our therapists helps them there.”

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  • Douglas A. Dubbink, M.D.

    “My goal is to improve my patient’s surgical experience. I strive to provide calm gentle reassurance for patients who are anxious about anesthesia and ensure that every patient is skillfully cared for throughout their entire procedure. When a patient awakens after surgery and openly wonders why they were so nervous previously, I know I’ve done my job.”

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