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Enhanced Recovery – Australian hospitals can learn from the UK experience

2011 December 16
by webmaster

Earlier this year Bernarda Cavka visited the UK to attend the 1st National Enhanced Recovery Conference in Bath. During her stay she also visited some hospitals utilising enhanced recovery pathways, seeking to learn from the sites in order to help inform her own hospital’s implementation of enhanced recovery.

Bernarda works as a Physiotherapy Team Leader at he Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia and after her visit she sent us the following guest blog with her reflections of her visit to Bournemouth.

Enter Bernarda…

In August this year I had the opportunity to visit the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) to observe the multidisciplinary team management of their elective hip and knee arthroplasty patients and gain a further understanding of how the team have achieved such great results with patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes, and length of stay. I was particularly interested to hear about RBH’s experiences with the implementation of the principles of enhanced recovery which is a relatively new concept in public health in Australia.

From the outset it was evident that a cohesive, innovative and highly structured team is the key ingredient to drive any change and achieve success with short term and long term goals. The team had the same vision and objectives regarding patient care which were consistently communicated to the patients and family members at varied stages of the pathway. In particular, the preoperative MDT education sessions provided patients with a clear understanding of what to expect from the time they were admitted onto the unit until discharge home including the importance of effective pain management, day of surgery mobilisation and the promotion of independence with self care.

Discussions with Tom Wainwright reinforced the importance of data collection to monitor processes and clinical outcomes along the patient journey, in engaging staff and as a mechanism of feedback to the MDT and executive management regarding the performance of the unit. Their use of SPC charts provides live information regarding LOS which facilitates more timely detection of variance in clinical practice which may be adversely affecting the patient experience and outcomes.

Overall, visiting the RBH was a fantastic experience which demonstrated how the patient experience and clinical outcomes can be improved through the implementation of an enhanced recovery pathway which is aligned with best practice guidelines. Thanks to Tom and Rob for their hard work in developing and sustaining the Enhanced Recovery Blog. The site has been a valuable tool for us in Melbourne as we move forward in reviewing our own hip and knee arthroplasty pathway.

Bernarda Cavka, Physiotherapy Team Leader, Acute Orthopaedics, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia (Bernarda’s trip to the UK was funded by a grant from the Felice Rosemary Lloyd Trust which is managed by ANZ Trustees).


If you are based in Australia or New Zealand and would like to learn more about how to design, implement, and manage a high performing enhanced recovery pathway in orthopaedics, follow the link below to get details of upcoming masterclasses near you.

Orthopaedic Enhanced Recovery Master Classes with Change Champions 





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