Overall volume by complexity

Why we measure it - Research shows that physicians and hospitals that treat a large number of patients tend to provide better care and have improved outcomes, even for complex cases. To measure complexity, we assess all patients before surgery using a scoring system called American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status score. This system helps predict the risk of complications and helps us match patients with the right resources. We are very experienced in taking care of children with highly complex medical problems from newborns through adolescence.


What this means - Our volume of more complex cases has gone up slightly from 2011 to 2012. Providing the best and safest care also requires that we match the right resource to the right patient. Therefore, we care for patients in different environments based on their needs. Same-day surgery patients and less complicated procedures in healthier patients can be safely performed at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Surgicenter with greater convenience to families. More complex patients are seen at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee campus, where there is a higher level of resources and where more complex care can be safely provided.

About the data - These data reflect the total number of anesthesia cases by complexity performed at Children's Hospital and our Surgicenter as recorded in our operating room data system. The America Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical score is an assessment tool which measures the complexity of an illness. It also classifies the illness into different categories and determines requirements for higher levels of care and assesses the risk of complications.

Related dimensions of care:


How we provide the best care

  • We have 35 board-certified anesthesiologists with subspecialty training in pediatric anesthesiology.
  • Our expert teams are on call 24 hours a day to provide services for general anesthesia, cardiac anesthesia, critical care, pain management and trauma/code response team. We typically have four or five anesthesiologists on call each night to care for urgent and emergency cases.
  • We are recognized nationally for developing new monitoring techniques for patients before, during and after surgery and we continue to set standards around the world for noninvasive hemodynamic monitoring, which ensures the body is receiving enough oxygen and nutrients through the blood.
  • Team members use the latest equipment and therapies and have access to a variety of subspecialty teams such as pain management, critical care, orthopedics, neurosurgical, cardiac and complex airway management. 
  • Our doctors spend quality time with all of our patients. They may take one patient safely through a complex operation lasting many hours hours or care for 20 patients undergoing short procedures that require less of their time. Our priority is to perform our sedations safely and make each child as comfortable as possible.
  • Our specialists sedate 200 to 1,400 children a year. Sedation levels are based on the child's medical need. To maintain our performance at the highest level, we follow state-of-the-art care standards to accommodate the diverse needs of our patients.
  • Experience sedating children is key to ensuring their safety. Sedatives are powerful medicines and having experts trained in pediatric anesthesiology makes surgical procedures much safer for your child.
  • Our Family Advisory Committee is made up of parents, partner providers and hospital staff who work together to improve our communication methods, quality of care and hospital services. We encourage an open dialogue and value feedback and opinions which are used to make impactful changes that benefit our patients.

Level I trauma center

Children's Hospital is an American College of Surgeons verified Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. Undergoing this rigorous verification process requires improved quality and safety standards. The trauma program is supported directly by anesthesia residents, fellows and faculty.

Family accommodations

Families traveling from long distances are encouraged to use our Family Accommodations Program to make travel arrangements and schedule appointments. Children's Hospital has partnered with non-profit organizations like Ronald McDonald House to offer comfortable, "home away from home" accommodations. Local hotel chains on our referral list also offer discounts for families.