Implementation of an ERAS® program
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Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a model of care that involves the implementation of care pathways before, during and after surgery designed to improve patient’s experience throughout the perioperative period. Yet, the implementation of individual ERAS protocol elements is not sufficient.
This approach requires the creation of a multidisciplinary work team, systematic recording of data and the use of the information recorded to implement a cycle of continuous improvement. Since 2015, 1331 patients have been recorded by Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires. Median length of hospital stay was 4 days and median readmission rate was 7.3%. The overall adherence to the protocol elements was 56% (88% in the preoperative period, 60% in the intraoperative period and 39% in the postoperative period) There was a linear and inverse correlation between the adherence to the program and length of hospitalization for the most common surgical procedures, with an average decrease of one day of hospitalization for each 10% increase in adherence with the program for the most common surgical procedures. Despite these results, we have encountered difficulties in the data recording systems limiting the implementation of the cycle of continuous improvement. The creation of a multidisciplinary team, with fluent and efficient communication, is essential for the implementation of an ERAS® program capable of reducing length of hospital stay, morbidity and readmission rates.