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AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery

The Armstrong Institute, in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS), is conducting a national quality improvement initiative funded and guided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery, a collaborative program to enhance the recovery of the surgical patient, is designed to support hospitals in implementing perioperative evidence-based pathways to meaningfully improve clinical outcomes, reduce hospital length of stay and improve the patient experience. The program is free and open to all hospitals in the United States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Participating sites will have access to U.S. experts in enhanced recovery, ready-to-use pathways, tools, education materials and the ACS data collection platform, as well as ongoing clinical support, coaching calls and face-to-face training sessions.

Project enrollment is now open. Our program is divided into four cohorts, each of which lasts 12 months. Hospitals can pick the cohort or cohorts in which they will participate.

CohortEnrollment DatesStart Date
Gynecology, Colorectal, Hip Fracture and Comprehensive Joint ReplacementJanuary 1 - February 28, 2019March 1, 2019

Emergency General Surgery

(with option to enroll in existing service lines)
January 1 - February 28, 2020March 1, 2020

The first cohort, focused on colorectal surgery only, started in July 2017. The second cohort, focused on colorectal, hip fracture and comprehensive joint replacement surgery, started in March 2018

Contact with any questions.

Register Now

Benefits of Participation

Participating hospitals will have access to:

  • U.S. leaders in perioperative quality
  • Evidence-based enhanced recovery pathways and order sets ready for local adaptation
  • Tools and materials to facilitate implementation of enhanced recovery pathways
  • Monthly coaching calls and in-person training to support hospital work
  • Quality improvement implementation support from a nurse consultant
  • ACS data collection platform and access to clinical support team

About Enhanced Recovery

Enhanced recovery is a clinical pathway and approach to surgical care that promotes the delivery of evidence-based perioperative care and reduces variability. Key elements of enhanced recovery include:

  • Patient and family engagement, including counseling about expectations for surgery and recovery
  • State of the art analgesia
  • Early mobility and restoration of functional status
  • Avoidance of prolonged periods of fasting
  • Evidence-based best practices for preventing harms

doctors tray with tools

Outcomes of Enhanced Recovery Pathways

Hospitals that utilize the enhanced recovery pathway can see:

  • Improved uptake of multimodal analgesia and reduced opioid use
  • Reductions in surgical site infections
  • Reductions in catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Reductions in venous thromboembolic events
  • Improvement in patient experience
  • Improvement in teamwork and safety culture
  • Improvement in length of stay and readmissions

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