In 2016 Wolff started research at the UMC Groningen Anaesthesiology Pain Center focused on quality and safety in diagnostics, prevention and therapy in patients with spinal and visceral related pain, with a special interest in sensitization. Innovation of chronic pain related patient care paths is another topic of interest.
In his resident time Wolff participated in research addressing the effect of epidural local anaesthetic agents, including Ropivacaine, a new drug at that time. From 1992-1997 Wolff participated in the anaesthesiology animal laboratory to elaborate the effect of short acting local anaesthestic agents in the white Wistar rat. Subsquently he started working for the Pain Acknowledge Center Nijmegen where he was involved in various research and quality projects such as the development of the Dutch Pain Classification, the development of Epiduroscopy and in organizing scientific symposia and congresses.
He performed and published various studies on “Segmental Nerve Root Blocks in Patients with Chronic Radiating Low Back Pain: Bringing Light to the Darkness?” and finished his PhD thesis on this subject in 2006. The Dutch Society of Anaesthesiologists awarded this thesis as the best one for 2006-2007. Thereafter, from 2006 to 2008, he followed prof. dr Ben Crul as head of the Pain Acknowledge Center Nijmegen, supervising scientific and educational projects.
In 2008 he became leader of a validation project for clinical hands on instruments developed to detect neuropathy at Radboud UMC Nijmegen. This project resulted and results in various publications based on studies executed by PhD student Hans Timmerman, who will finalize this project in 2016.
Because of his activities in the field of patient safety and quality of care, Wolff also became the leader of the Radboud UMC research group studying themes related to “Evidence Based Perioperative Patient Safety”. Main topics are the implementation effects of the national guidelines concerning the Pre-, Per- and Postoperative trajectory and implementation strategies. Various PhD students are active in this research area. Another topic is studying instruments to identify unsafety in the perioperative patient care.
Anaesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine
After graduation in medicine at the RadboudUniversity in Nijmegen (Radboud UMC) André Wolff finished his specialization in anaesthesiology also at the RadboudUMC in 1987. He started working in the field of anaesthesiology, pain- and palliative care in the St Anna Hospital (Oss), Later called Bernhoven hospital (now in Uden) in 2000 after fusion with the St JosephHospital in Veghel. He experienced in pain management and all (invasive) pain treatment techniques; the complex ones included, such as neuromodulation and epiduroscopy. Wolff became chairman of the multidisciplinary Regional Pain Centre North East Brabant, organized the pain treatment activities into a professional organisation and started patient care quality projects such as “the Out Patient Clinic Carrousel” in order to prevent the chronification of pain syndromes in a multidisciplinary way. This project was financially supported by the Dutch Order of Medical Specialists. In 2002 and 2003 he also worked at the Pain Treatment Centre in the University Medical Centre Utrecht for one day a week.
In 2003 he changed position to the dept. of Anaesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine (APPM) at the RadboudUMC. He continued his activities in anaesthesiology, pain treatment and palliative care and introduced Epidurosopy again for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes as quality project, but now in Nijmegen.
From 2006-2012 Wolff was clinical director of the RadboudUMC department of Anaesthesiology and in 2007 he also became clinical director in the department of Operating Theatres.
In 2015 Wolff started as Head of the Pain Centre at the department of Anaesthesiology in the University Medical Centre Groningen. Wolff joined the UMCG Palliative Team and the UMCG Spine Centre. At February the 18th of 2016, Wolff was appointed professor in Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen.
Patient safety and Quality of care
From 2007 until 2012 Wolff was chairman of the national multidisciplinary working groups for guideline development to improve safety and efficacy of the perioperatieve process in the Dutch hospitals. He also became the chairman of the Dutch Society of Anaesthesiology (NVA). In 2010 he started a cooperation with IQHealthcare, specialized in implementation science, to study the effects on adherence and patient outcomes of tailored implementation strategies of these Dutch guidelines. This was the basis for a research group that started at that time: Evidence Based Perioperative Patient Safety. At this
moment 3 PhD students are elaborating research on implementation activities and instruments to identify and improve perioperatieve safety. Wolff got active
in various organizations and hospital committees that are involved in patient safety and quality of care. As a patient safety officer in the RadboudUMC he developed and lead a program to improve patient safety and professional safety culture in the RadboudUMC. He co-founded and became board
member of the Dutch Society for Safe Curative Care (VVCZ). This society counts actually 16 Dutch hospitals as member that are helped to improve patient safety. Wolff also lead a patient safety education program in the RadboudUMC. As one of the activities he was involved in the introduction of Crew Resource Management for all professionals of the clinical high risk departments. He recently started workshops to introduce Reflection for professionals involved in patient care to improve engagement, safety and quality of care. He was also active in perioperative safety audits and was consulted by various hospitals.
Teaching & education
In Groningen Wolff participates in the Bachelor Medicine Curriculum and teaches Pain Medicine to bachelor students (modules Personal Profiling and Oncologic Pain), Summer School students and Anaesthesiology residents.
In 1992 in Oss, Wolff started to organize periodic meetings to educate primary health care physicians in diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain syndromes. From 1997, the moment at which he started to work also for the Pain Knowledge Centre Nijmegen, he started to organize educational meetings and symposia and gave lectures to various kinds of health care professionals to improve their knowledge in chronic and oncologic pain medicine. From 2004-2008 he was a teacher in the PKO-curriculum in pain medicine for medicine students. For some years he also gave resuscitation lessons for dentistry students.
Since he was active in the field of patient safety and quality of care, he also gave lectures to residents, medical specialists and nurses of all specialties in the RadboudUMC. Wolff started lectures for 3rd year level medicine students in the context of Medical Professional Development (MPV-4). In 2010 as organizer and teacher he was involved in a serial of post-academic courses at the Academy of the Dutch Order of Medical Specialists. This was developed for medical specialists, hospital board members and managers to facilitate the implementation of the national guideline Preoperative patient care. In 2010 he also started as a teacher for BioMedical Science students (MBO-2, topic patient safety). In that year he also was involved in a post-academic course on the National Guideline on Responsibilities in Patient Care (Medisch Contact television). From 2009-2014 Wolff teached 5th year residents Anaesthesiology in Patient Safety and Quality of Patient Care (E-course of the National Curriculum Anaesthesiology).
In 2012 Wolff became program leader for Patient Safety Education in the RadboudUMC for all professionals involved in patient care. These Master classes including master classes adressing the Patient Safety Management System themes. In that year he also got engaged as faculty member for the NFU Master Quality and Safety in Patient Care and became responsible for the development of and was teacher in Module 1.
In 2013 Wolff started also teaching patient safety in the Radboudumc introduction course for physicians, residents, medical specialists and nurses who started newly in the Radboudumc. Wolff also supervised internship projects for end level students studying at the faculties Social Science, Radboud University Nijmegen and Business science, RadboudUMC and Catholic University of Brabant, Tilburg on topics concerning Organization and logistics.
Management, governance experience & leadership
In 2015 Wolff became the Head of the Pain Centre at the department of the Anaesthesiology in the UMC Groningen. He guided the movement of the Pain Centre from location Groningen to Haren (Beatrixoord) and started guiding its translation into a new organization. Wolff also started participating in the management team of the UMCG Spine Center and in the UMCG advisory board for the ComprehensiveCenter for Cancer.
In the past in the Anna Hospital in Oss Wolff followed a communication course How to treat patients in a friendly way and a later he followed a management training for medical specialists, in the Bernhoven Hospital Oss and Veghel. After 2000 he followed curriculum part 1 and 2 of the Personal Development and Leadership at the Catan School of Excellence. In 2006 Wolff experienced the Radboud Curriculum Integral Management for leaders, and in 2011 he followed the Curriculum Soul, Professionalism and Leadership, specifically organized for the management team of the department of Anaesthesiology in the Radboudumc that he was part of.
In 1996 Wolff became the chairman of the Regional Multidisciplinary Pain Centre North East Brabant until 2003. In 2006, after he had moved to the RadboudUMC, he became clinical director of the department of Anaesthesiology, Pain- and Palliative Medicine, which he ended in 2012. From 2006 to 2008 he was Head of the Pain Knowledge Centre and in 2007 Wolff became clinical director of the Operating Centre, which was later transformed in an academic department. When prof dr Hein Gooszen became chairman, Wolff’s function became more focused on Patient safety. In 2009 he became the leader of a multi-year integral perioperative implementation program (STAP: Standardization, Team work, Addressing each other and Patient centeredness) to enhance patient safety and culture in the Radboudumc.
Between 1996 and 2008 Wolff was board member in various professional Organizations in the area of pain medicine such as the Section Pain of the Dutch Society of Anesthesiologists (NVA) and the Dutch Society for the Study of Pain (NVBP). He was representative of the Dutch Society of Anesthesiologists in the National Platform for Pain and Pain Medicine (SWVP). In 2004 he was co-founder and became secretary in the board of the Dutch Working Group Spinal Endoscopic Technics (LANSET). He also was board member of the Dutch Epiduroscopy foundation from 2006 – 2008. Wolff was board member of the Scientific Advisory Council National Pain Fund. In 2011 Wolff co-founded and became board member of the Dutch Society for Safe Curative Care (VVZC) in which 16 Dutch Hospitals participate at this moment. Finally Wolff was chairman of the Dutch Society of Day Surgery and Short Stay from 2011 – 2014 and is board member of the Help Elandsdoorn foundation to support small local health care projects in Elandsdoorn, S-Africa.