Perioperative Cognitive Anesthesia Network

The Perioperative Cognitive Anesthesia Network (PeCAN) is an interdisciplinary enterprise at UF Health Shands Hospital where anesthesiologists, neuropsychologists, geriatric medicine specialists, surgeons, and nurses plan patient care prior to surgery.

PeCAN was established in August of 2017 as part of the Presurgical Center to be a clinical-training-research program designed to address the needs of older adults at-risk for poor postoperative outcomes.

PeCAN cognitive screening process

Our Process

Anesthesia staff administer a quick cognitive screener to all adults over the age of 65 presenting for elective surgery. Older adults believed to be at risk for cognitive change following surgery are referred to a preoperative neuropsychologist for a neurobehavioral examination. The neuropsychologist is responsible for alerting anesthesiologists, surgeons, and primary care physicians about the patients’ cognitive status and a potential vulnerability for cognitive change.

On average, 30 to 40 patients are seen a week. PeCAN has so far evaluated over 1300 adults over the age of 65 with suspected cognitive impairment.

Our Training

A unique component of the PeCAN program is the broader goal of interdisciplinary training for anesthesiology, neuropsychology, geriatric medicine, neuroscience, surgeons, and biomedical engineering. To this end, residents and medical students at the UF College of Medicine attend periodic lectures on the utility and administration of cognitive screeners.

Discussions include:

  • the rationale for incorporating cognitive tools into preoperative settings
  • the cognitive profile and behavioral presentation of highly prevalent neurodegenerative conditions (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease)

The PeCAN program is based on extensive research indicating that preoperative cognitive and brain health are risk factors for negative postoperative cognitive decline.

Contact Us

We are located at UF Health Shands Hospital: