A special project underway at Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert is enhancing recovery for patients following colorectal surgery.
“We are changing the way we prepare patients for colorectal surgery,” said Sharon Griffin, Director of Acute Care in Prince Albert and a member of the Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) multidisciplinary working group at Victoria Hospital. “And we’re changing the way we care for patients during and after surgery.”
Because of the ERAS project, patients are stronger and better informed before their colorectal surgery, and they’re taught what to expect afterwards. This patient pathway follows evidence-based guidelines and practices in the areas of surgical care, nursing, and nutritional and pharmacy support.
“We are tracking patient outcomes and can see that patients are spending up to 50 per cent fewer days in hospital. And patient feedback has been positive,” Griffin said.
Prince Albert Learning Collaborative Team: (From left) Sheila Cooper, Nursing Unit Manager; Karen Grenier, Nursing Educator; Sharon Griffin, Director of Acute Care; Melissa Van Otterloo, Charge Nurse; and Dr. Dapo Mabadeje, General Surgeon.
One patient summarized the surgical experience as so positive that the patient wrote, “I can’t believe I had surgery! Another wrote, “I was so surprised that I could drink fluids until two hours before surgery.” The comment referred to the ERAS pathway’ emphasis on maximizing patients’ health before their surgery including having them consume a carbohydrate rich drink up to two hours before surgery. The pathway also gets patients eating, and up and moving sooner after surgery.
The ERAS project continues until April 2020, when Griffin and her team colleagues lead by general surgeon Dr. Dapo Mabadeje are looking forward to sharing the results of their work. Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert is one of only seven hospitals chosen across Canada to work collaboratively on the project as part of a Patient Safety Learning Collaborative with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.