Introduction Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) optimises patient outcomes after elective surgery. The role of designated ERAS nurse has rarely been assessed with limited information on any potential cost savings.
Method 3 separate time periods were compared: n = 36, group 1 (ERAS established, no designated nurse, 3 months duration); n = 64, group 2 (5 month introductory period for ERAS Nurse) and group 3, n = 204 (12 months following introductory period) Total numbers of patients; length of hospital stay (LOS); re-admission rates were calculated with daily patient costs estimated using £541 / surgical ward.
Results LOS reduced in group 2 and further reduced in group 3: 9 (3–36) vs. 8 (3–15) vs. 7 (3–68) [Groups 1, 2 and 3 respectively]. The re-admission rate reduced: 8% vs. 4.7% vs. 5.4%; length of re-admission stay shorter: 4.5 days vs. 1.7 vs. 1.7.
The two day LOS reduction saved 408 bed days: potential cost reduction of £1082/patient/ hospital stay or alternatively, allowed extra 58 patients to have surgery.
Conclusion A designated ERAS Nurse has substantially increased the number of patients undergoing surgery, with further reductions in hospital stay and re-admission rates; a designated ERAS Nurse has vital and cost-effective role in current surgical practice.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.