Study: Early Discharge Associated With Low Readmissions for Colorectal Surgery Patients With Enhanced Recovery Pathway

Laparoscopic colorectal surgery with an enhanced recovery pathway is associated with early discharge and low readmission rates, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Researchers assessed the effectiveness of enhanced recovery pathways after laparoscopic or open colorectal surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, an enhanced recovery pathway is "an evidence-based, multimodal program that seeks to reduce postoperative stress responses and organ dysfunction so that patients recover more quickly, easily and naturally."

The researchers studied the outcomes of 806 major elective colorectal surgery cases, 609 of which were laparoscopic and 197 of which were open; all patients followed a standardized enhanced recovery pathway. On average, the laparoscopic patients were discharged 3.9 days after surgery and open-surgery patients were discharged 8.4 days post-surgery.

Here are other key findings from the study:
•    Thirty-eight percent of patients who had laparoscopic surgery and 8 percent of open-surgery patients were discharged within 48 hours of surgery.
•    Sixty-two percent of laparoscopic patients and 19 percent of open-surgery patients were discharged within 72 hours of surgery.
•    Of all patients, 8.9 percent were readmitted. Patients who had laparoscopic surgery had a readmission rate of 7.2 percent and patients who had open surgery had a rate of 14.2 percent.
•    Laparoscopic patients who were discharged within one, two and three days had a cumulative readmission rate of 0.2 percent, 1.6 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

The authors concluded that laparoscopy and an enhanced recovery pathway for colorectal surgery patients enables early discharge without worsening readmission rates.

More Articles on Hospital Readmissions:

A Community-Based Approach to Improving Care Transitions: 4 Strategies
20 Hospital Readmission Statistics

Study: Readmission Penalties Hit Safety-Net Hospitals Hardest

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