St. David's HealthCare
June 19, 2018

Enhanced Surgical Recovery program reduces side effects and benefits recovery

AUSTIN, Texas—An innovative program underway at St. David’s HealthCare aims to help surgical patients recover more quickly and reduce their dependence on medication.

The Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR) Program is a research-based, multidisciplinary approach which improves the surgical and postoperative recovery experience. Patients in the ESR program have been shown to experience improved satisfaction due to faster recovery, shortened hospital stays and fewer complications.

All St. David’s HealthCare acute care facilities—St. David’s Medical Center, St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital—are currently offering ESR to select surgical patients.

“Research has shown that adoption of this revolutionary program leads to significant improvements in patient outcomes and patient satisfaction,” Dr. Ken Mitchell, senior vice president and chief medical officer of St. David’s HealthCare said. “Anecdotally, we have also noticed that patients feel much more engaged and involved in their recovery.”

The program encompasses five evidence-based components—patient education, enhanced nutritional supplementation, multimodal pain control, tighter fluid management and early mobilization.

  • Patient education – doctors and hospital staff explain ESR when surgery is scheduled to ensure patients are willing to be a partner in their own care and recovery
  • Enhanced nutritional supplementation – instead of fasting before surgery, patients are given carbohydrate solutions to drink up to two hours prior to surgery
  • Multimodal pain control – rather than strictly relying on opiate medications to control pain, several different types of medications are used to reduce a patient’s pain after surgery
  • Tighter fluid management – a non-invasive monitor is used during surgery to avoid operating on a dehydrated or overhydrated patient
  • Early mobilization – the longer patients lie in bed, the higher their chances of developing pneumonia, blood clots and complications

While the program is currently being offered to surgical patients, St. David’s HealthCare plans to utilize it in other areas as well.

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St. David’s HealthCare

With more than 119 sites across Central Texas, St. David’s HealthCare includes seven of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. The organization has been recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence. St. David’s HealthCare is the third-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 10,200 employees.

St. David’s HealthCare is a unique partnership between a hospital management company and two local non-profits—St. David’s Foundation and Georgetown Health Foundation. The proceeds from the operations of the hospitals fund the foundations, which, in turn, invest those dollars back into the community. Since the inception of St. David’s HealthCare in 1996, more than $425 million has been given back to the community to improve the health and healthcare of Central Texans.