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Enhanced recovery clinical education programme improves quality of post-operative care (England)

Case Study

posted by WM Admin on 6 May 2015

A successful enhanced recovery (ER) programme began to fail after organisational restructuring and staff changes. Patients did not meet their ER goals and length of stay (LOS) increased. An ER nurse was appointed to get the programme back on track.

This involved a multidisciplinary approach to an ER clinical education programme. The programme aimed to develop knowledge of the physiology of post-operative recovery and the evidence underpinning the interventions required. This was considered crucial to secure longer term staff engagement while avoiding unthinking protocol driven compliance. Success of the education programme was measured by improved outcomes in patient LOS and readmission statistics.

During the four months of the clinical education programme there were no significant changes in monthly LOS. At six months post implementation of the programme there was a reduction in LOS of 0.6 days compared to the previous six months. At 12 months there was a reduction in 1.1 days compared with previous 12 months. There was a mean reduction of 28 day readmissions for all elective gynaecology surgery of 1.1 patients per month in the 12 months post programme implementation compared to the 12 months before. Delivering a multidisciplinary participatory education programme improved overall understanding of ER, and achieved sustained improvement in ER for patient benefit.

This is an open access article and is available to read in free full text at:

McDonald, R. (2015). Enhanced recovery clinical education programme improves quality of post-operative care. BMJ Quality Improvement Reports, 4(1).