Between 2006 and 2008 the enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program was implemented in colonic surgery in one-third of all hospitals in the Netherlands (n = 33). This resulted in enhanced recovery and a decrease in hospital length of stay (LOS) from a median of 9 days at baseline to 6 days at one-year follow-up. The present study assessed the sustainability of the ERAS program 3-5 years after its implementation. From the 33 ERAS hospitals, 10 initially successful hospitals were selected, with success defined as a median LOS of 6 days or lower and protocol adherence rates above 70 %. In 2012 a retrospective audit of 30 consecutive patients was performed in each of these hospitals. Sustainability of the ERAS program was assessed on hospital level, using median hospital LOS, protocol adherence rates and time to functional recovery. Data were compared with the implementation phase data. Overall median LOS in the selected hospitals increased from 5.25 days (interquartile range [IQR] 4.75-6.00; min, 4.00-max, 6.00) to 6 days (IQR 5.00-7.00; min, 5.00-max, 8.00), but this change was not significant (p = 0.052). Time to functional recovery was equal in both phases: median 3.00 days (p = 0.26). Protocol adherence decreased from 75 to 67 % (p = 0.32). Especially adherence to postoperative care elements dropped considerably. Despite a slight decrease in protocol adherence, the ERAS program was sustained reasonably well in the 10 selected hospitals, although there was quite some variation between the hospitals.
Gillissen, F., Ament, S. M. C., Maessen, J. M. C., Dejong, C. H. C., Dirksen, C. D., van der Weijden, T., & von Meyenfeldt, M. F. (2015). Sustainability of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program (ERAS) in Colonic Surgery. World Journal of Surgery, 39(2), 526-533. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-014-2744-3