The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has been awarded nearly $4 million to improve surgical care across the United States, Johns Hopkins Medicine announced. This money will be used, in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons, to help implement enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols in more than 750 hospitals.
“This program brings these recommended practices together into one coordinated, unified program where everyone—clinicians, patients, and their loved ones—understands what they must do for the best possible outcome,” Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a press release.
Since the implementation of ERAS protocols in 2013, Johns Hopkins has reported a 1.5-day reduction in hospital length of stay for colorectal surgery patients; $1,500 in savings using protocols; and fewer complications, including a 50% reduction in surgical site infections.
“With the success of ERAS at our hospital, we are excited to share this approach with other hospitals,” Michael Rosen, MA, PhD, associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a press release. “This will be an important step in improving patient care throughout their surgery process.”
As part of this initiative, researchers expect to help other hospitals assess their current practices and adopt new ones related to patient care before, during and after surgeries. Colorectal surgery patients will be the first target group, followed by bariatric, orthopedic, gynecologic and emergency surgery patients. Spacing out the implementation will allow doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to compare notes.
Dr. Rosen noted that there may be challenges in launching a program of this magnitude, as each hospital already has its own set of procedures, which likely have been revised and enhanced over the years to improve patient safety and satisfaction.
The initiative is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “the lead Federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America’s health care system.” The initial $4 million contract is followed by three optional one-year awards, each worth $4 million.