Enhanced recovery protocol for colectomy patients reduced hospital stay



SAN DIEGO – Multihospital collaboration and implementation of enhanced recovery have the potential to improve outcomes, in particular, length of hospital stay, results from a pilot study showed.

“Given the importance of patient engagement, enhanced recovery has the potential to improve patient experience and provide high-value health care,” Julia R. Berian, MD, said at the American College of Surgeons/National Surgical Quality Improvement Program National Conference.

Dr. Julia R. Berian

Dr. Julia R. Berian

Dr. Berian, the James C. Thompson Geriatric Surgery Research Fellow at the University of Chicago Medical Center, presented findings from the Enhanced Recovery in NSQIP (ERIN) Pilot, a collaborative effort by 16 ACS-NSQIP hospitals to improve length of stay in patients who undergo colectomy, a procedure that has been shown to have an adverse event rate of 28.9% and an average length of stay of 9.8 days for those who experience an adverse event (J Am Coll Surg. 2008; 207[5]:698-704).

Implementation of the ERIN Pilot showed reductions in length of hospital stay and morbidity among colectomy patients. The average length of stay decreased by 1.2 days (from a mean of 6.6 among preimplementation cases to 5.4 days among post implementation cases; P less than .0001). Morbidity also decreased from 14% to 11% (P = .01), but the rate of readmission was 11% for both pre- and postimplementation cases. In the adjusted model, the enhanced recovery protocol decreased the risk of prolonged length of stay by 40% (odds ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.5-0.8).

For the ERIN Pilot, she and her associates participated in monthly conference calls for collaborative experience and expert guidance from project leaders Julie Thacker, MD, and Liane Feldman, MD. Enhanced recovery protocols were tailored to each individual hospital. Data were collected before and after implementation using 14 novel ERIN variables, including preoperative elements such as defining expectations and minimizing starvation, intraoperative variables such as optimizing fluid management and minimizing surgical trauma, and postoperative elements such as aggressive adherence to best practices including feeding, early ambulation, and minimizing the use of tethers such as urinary catheters.

The researchers evaluated procedure-targeted colectomy cases performed between July 2013 and June 2015, and excluded emergency cases or those with preoperative sepsis. They used bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression with forward selection, and the outcome of interest, prolonged hospital length of stay, was specified by the standard ACS NSQIP definition: greater than the 75th percentile of uncomplicated cases.

Dr. Berian reported results from 2,523 colectomies performed prior to implementation of the ERIN Pilot process and 823 colectomies performed after implementation of the process. The researchers observed no differences between the preimplementation and postimplementation cases in terms of sex, preoperative functional status, hypertension, renal failure, ascites, diabetes, disseminated cancer, or use of steroids for inflammatory bowel disease. However, compared with preimplementation colectomies, a significantly higher proportion of postimplementation cases were white (77% vs. 68%, respectively), had heart failure (2.8% vs. 1.2%), had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (7.8% vs. 5.3%), were American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class 1 and 2 ( 50.2% vs. 44.7%), were smokers (21.6% vs. 16.7%), had unintentional weight loss (7.7% vs. 5.7%), had used mechanical bowel prep (77% vs. 53%), and used more oral antibiotics (68% vs. 33%).

On the other hand, compared with preimplementation cases, there were significantly fewer bleeding disorders in the postimplementation colectomies (3.9% vs. 6.4%), as well as fewer cases with preoperative systemic inflammatory response syndrome (2.9% vs. 5.4%) and open surgery approaches (31.7% vs. 42.3%).

Dr. Berian disclosed that her fellowship position is funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation.

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