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Thinking differently: Working to spread enhanced recovery

2010 February 14
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by webmaster

A recent article in the journal Current Anaesthesia and Critical Care, titled “Thinking differently: Working to spread enhanced recovery across England” describes the Enhanced Recovery Partnership Programme within the United Kingdom.

The article describes the scope and content of the Department of Health programme which is aiming to increase the adoption of enhanced recovery pathways by hospitals and health communities across the United Kingdom. Full details of the Program can be found on the Enhanced Recovery Partnership Programme website.

The strategic context and national need for the adoption of enhanced recovery pathways is clearly explained by the authors. Essentially the National Health Service (NHS) within England will need to deliver more for less over the coming years, without compromising on the quality of outcomes for patients.

The article explicitly demonstrates how enhanced recovery pathways help to deliver every aspect of the Quality and Productivity Challenge (QIPP) initiative. Specifically,  enhanced recovery pathways deliver the QIPP challenge by improving the quality of patient care, improving the quality of working lives, using evidence-based treatment techniques, facilitating shorter lengths of stay (thereby increasing productivity), and making sure risks of complications are minimised by optimising patient health status prior to surgery.

The article finishes by modelling the potential impact of introducing enhanced recovery pathways to the NHS; the results are very significant. The authors of the article state that national implementation of the Enhanced Recovery Pathway could achieve bed day savings from 140,000 to over 200,000, which could equate to savings of between £35 and £52 million for the health service as a whole.

The introduction of enhanced recovery pathways therefore have great potential for achieving the win-win scenario of improving the quality of patient care at the same time as delivering massive improvements to productivity.

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