Ann Surg Treat Res.  2022 Apr;102(4):223-233. 10.4174/astr.2022.102.4.223.

Implementation and improvement of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery protocols for colorectal cancer surgery

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Vascular and Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) reduces postoperative complications and shortens hospital stays. We aimed to describe the implementation and improvement of ERAS protocols in our institution through a multidisciplinary team approach.
Methods
A multidisciplinary team comprised of colorectal surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, and a performance improvement team was launched to develop the ERAS protocol. The ERAS protocol was followed in patients who underwent colonic and rectal surgery between January and November 2017. The ERAS protocol comprised 22 elements in the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative phases. After the initial application, ERAS compliance was monitored and audited every 4–6 months and improvements made as necessary.
Results
The length of hospital stay significantly decreased after the application of the ERAS protocols for colon cancer in 2017 and 2018. And there was no significant difference in the duration of hospital stay after applying the rectal cancer ERAS protocol. Moreover, after starting the colon ERAS, there was a significant decrease in the complication rate. Since December 2017, there was a continuous increase in the colorectal ERAS clinical pathway application rate, which remained high (>90%). The patient compliance rate significantly increased between 2017 and 2018, but slightly decreased again in 2019.
Conclusion
The application and continual improvement of an ERAS protocol are crucial. Improving compliance may result in better clinical outcomes. Additionally, the basic guidelines of ERAS must be applied and developed according to each hospital’s situation based on the team approach.

Keyword

Colorectal surgery; Compliance; Complications
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