Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Coll Surg. 2018 Apr;226(4):586-593. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2017.12.031. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Enhanced Recovery after Colorectal Surgery: Can We Afford Not to Use It?

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH; Cincinnati Research in Outcomes and Safety in Surgery, Cincinnati, OH.
2
Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.
3
Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH; Cincinnati Research in Outcomes and Safety in Surgery, Cincinnati, OH. Electronic address: ian.paquette@uc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Enhanced recovery pathways (ERPs) aim to reduce length of stay without adversely affecting short-term outcomes. High pharmaceutical costs associated with ERP regimens, however, remain a significant barrier to widespread implementation. We hypothesized that ERP would reduce hospital costs after elective colorectal resections, despite the use of more expensive pharmaceutical agents.

STUDY DESIGN:

An ERP was implemented in January 2016 at our institution. We collected data on consecutive colorectal resections for 1 year before adoption of ERP (traditional, n = 160) and compared them with consecutive resections after universal adoption of ERP (n = 146). Short-term surgical outcomes, total direct costs, and direct hospital pharmacy costs were compared between patients who received the ERP and those who did not.

RESULTS:

After implementation of the ERP, median length of stay decreased from 5.0 to 3.0 days (p < 0.01). There were no differences in 30-day complications (8.1% vs 8.9%) or hospital readmission (11.9% vs 11.0%). The ERP patients required significantly less narcotics during their index hospitalization (211.7 vs 720.2 morphine equivalence units; p < 0.01) and tolerated a regular diet 1 day sooner (p < 0.01). Despite a higher daily pharmacy cost ($477 per day vs $318 per day in the traditional cohort), the total direct pharmacy cost for the hospitalization was reduced in ERP patients ($1,534 vs $1,859; p = 0.016). Total direct cost was also lower in ERP patients ($9,791 vs $11,508; p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS:

Implementation of an ERP for patients undergoing elective colorectal resection substantially reduced length of stay, total hospital cost, and direct pharmacy cost without increasing complications or readmission rates. Enhanced recovery pathway after colorectal resection has both clinical and financial benefits. Widespread implementation has the potential for a dramatic impact on healthcare costs.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center