Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) colorectal programs have been shown to improve the length of stay (LOS) without increasing hospital resource utilization at academic centers worldwide. A multidisciplinary ERAS protocol that includes preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative management guidelines was recently implemented at our urban, racially diverse, and academically affiliated community hospital. A delivery option was provided to reduce barriers to care. Given our unique patient population, the objective of our study was to determine if improvements in outcomes were reproducible in our hospital.
This is a retrospective study of patients undergoing elective colectomy at New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2020. Patient outcomes were compared between surgeries performed under standard practice (all colectomies prior to April 2017) and those performed after the implementation of the ERAS protocol. Demographic and perioperative data were abstracted from a prospectively derived database used to submit data to the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Additional data were obtained from chart review.
Six hundred five elective colectomies were performed by 12 surgeons (range 1-228 cases) during the study period. Of these, 22 were performed open (41% followed ERAS), 467 were performed laparoscopically (57% followed ERAS), and 116 were performed robotically (74% followed ERAS). The average patient age was 64 y. Of which, 55% were male; 34% were Asian, 27% were non-Hispanic Caucasian, 27% were Hispanic, and 11% were Black or African American (all P-values > 0.05 for ERAS versus non-ERAS). Average duration of procedure was longer in the ERAS group (262 min versus 243 min, P = 0.04), although when stratified by procedure type, this relationship held true only for laparoscopic procedures. Hospital LOS was significantly shorter in the ERAS group (4.3 versus 5.4 d, P < 0.001) and this relationship held true for procedures performed both laparoscopically (4.2 versus 5.3 d, P = 0.01) and robotically (4.1 versus 5.1 d, P = 0.04). Of the ERAS group, patients who opted for delivery of ERAS components (n = 205) had the shortest LOS when compared to patients who picked up components (n = 91) or opted out of ERAS (n = 309) (4.1 versus 4.4 versus 5.2 d, P = 0.003). No significant differences were found for 30-d mortality, 30-d readmission, wound infection, or other postoperative complications (all P-values > 0.05).
Implementation of an ERAS protocol in an urban, diverse, academically affiliated community hospital is associated with reductions in LOS for colectomies performed both laparoscopically and robotically. Facilitating ERAS compliance with a delivery option was also associated with improvements in hospital LOS. Preoperative nutrition supplementation was not associated with outcomes. No differences in mortality, readmission rates, or rates of postoperative complications were found.
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Published online: February 10, 2023
Accepted: December 18, 2022
Received in revised form: December 6, 2022
Received: March 3, 2022
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