Traci L. Hedrick, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Surgery
Co-Director, Enhanced Recovery Program
University of Virginia Health System
The adoption of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols can improve not only the outcomes of patients after a procedure but can also reduce hospital costs, as has been seen in an ERAS program in colorectal cancer at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System.
ERAS aims to reduce opioid intake through the use of multimodal analgesia, such as anti-inflammatory agents, local anesthetics, and other nonopioid pain management strategies.
Impact of Enhanced Recovery at the University of Virginia
We implemented a multidisciplinary ERAS protocol in patients undergoing major colorectal surgery in 2013 at the UVA Health Center.18 We observed dramatic improvements in colorectal surgery quality outcomes including a 2-day reduction in length of stay, an 80% reduction in opioids, and a 50% reduction in overall complications (Figure 1)
. There was a 67 per patient reduction in total hospital costs and significant improvements in patient satisfaction.
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