To learn how other surgeons in the United States have implemented ERAS pain management practices, Surgical Products connected with Dr. David B. Auyong, attending anesthesiologist, medical director at Lindeman Ambulatory Surgical Center, Virginia Mason Medical Center; Dr. Deborah Keller, a colon & rectal surgery doctor in Houston, Texas; and Dr. Lawrence Volz, director of ERAS programs for Dunes Surgical Hospital and Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City, Iowa.
They answered the question: Why are surgeons still hesitant to transition to this new approach?
Auyong: Some surgeons are concerned about the time it takes to implement new multimodal approaches, and how they fit into the facility’s overall bundled payments regimen. At our facility, both surgeons and anesthesiologists have the same mindset – both groups are first and foremost committed to patient-centric care, so multimodal pain management is a big priority for us. Though those concerns are valid, the approach that is in the best interest of the patient takes precedence. It is important that all members of the care team embrace this perspective in order to be successful. Everyone at any phase of patient care can be resistant to change. However, in this rapidly evolving healthcare environment, old standards quickly become outdated. No matter how advanced a practice might be, continual collaboration between providers will only benefit patients.
Keller: I think that any change makes everyone nervous, but this is an evidence-based change that will benefit patients and surgeons. Tracking metrics after implementing a new approach is a great way to demonstrate the benefits of implementing change.
Volz: I found that convincing the other physicians and nurses to make sure the patients got their medications preop. After the nursing staff began to see how little pain the patients had after surgery, the more they believed in what we are doing.
This is one in a five-part series. These experts also answered: