Background and Context
The complexity of surgical care demands the skill, commitment and collaboration of an inter-professional team throughout the perioperative period. While patient variables and surgical practices combine to contribute to the uniqueness of individual cases, commonalities across surgical specialties, surgical programs and surgical systems of care offer an opportunity to standardize elements in the perioperative care period, optimizing both patient experiences and outcomes. Surgical care has a long history of continuous improvement, with a traditional focus on a narrow range of outcomes, such as length of stay, medical complications and readmission rates.
Bundling of best practices or evidence-informed guidelines has led to improved patient outcomes in many types of treatment. The bundling of guidelines for enhanced surgical recovery is the foundation of Enhanced Recovery Canada. Enhanced Recovery Canada recognizes that surgery is part of a continuum of patient care from presentation to primary care, initial diagnosis, surgical treatment, rehabilitative care and ongoing assessment; and that the care team includes the patient, family and a variety of health professionals coordinating their efforts to optimize patient experiences and outcomes.
Many national organizations include "improved patient care" as either an explicit or implicit part of their vision. This goal is embraced by surgical professional organizations and other health professional schools as well as by patient safety agencies and quality improvement organizations. Enhanced Recovery Canada is aligned with this vision, linking the goals and activities of healthcare team members to improve the patient's journey and health outcome. The complexity of surgical care demands the skill, commitment and collaboration of an inter-professional team throughout the perioperative period.
The organizations on the following page support the implementation of the most relevant and timely surgical best practices and recognize and support Enhanced Recovery Canada to improve surgical care. This program and its dissemination build upon the efforts of the ERAS® Society (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) and are rooted in quality improvement efforts, taking a broader look at the continuum of surgical care and the outcomes of care. The following are the core principles of Enhanced Recovery Canada that can be applied by all surgical/healthcare teams.
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