4 Ways to Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs with Enhanced Recovery Programs


Tue Mar 29 13:00:00 CDT 2016
Donna Watson, Ph.D.(c), RN, MSN, CNOR
Director of Professional Societies & Patient Advocacy, Medtronic

All healthcare providers share the same goal for patients undergoing surgery: a smooth recovery that returns patients to their daily lives as quickly as possible.


That’s why some providers have adopted an evidence-based perioperative care pathway called enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS). By maintaining preoperative organ function and reducing the stress response to surgery, the main goal of ERAS is early recovery for patients following major surgery — a clear benefit for both patients and providers.


In a recent article published by OR Manager, I shared perspectives on successful implementation of an ERAS program. Here are four of the key factors:


  • Identify a surgeon, anesthesia and nurse champion to lead the project design.
  • Form a comprehensive multidisciplinary project team of experts and ensure everyone at the table has a voice and input in the final decisions.
  • Integrate elements that are based on evidence-based practice and standardized along the continuum of care.
  • Involve someone with the skills to lead the team throughout development and implementation. Some facilities do not have the time to allocate an expert; that is where a highly trained professional can step in to offer solutions and project management.  


Helping patients return to their lives faster is the greatest benefit of implementing an ERAS program. As healthcare providers, this is what we value most and why we come to work every day.


Read the full article here.


Donna Watson, Ph.D.(c), RN, MSN, CNOR is a global perioperative thought leader and is currently Director of Professional Societies & Patient Advocacy for Medtronic.