Facilitators and barriers of implementing enhanced recovery in colorectal surgery at a safety net hospital: A provider and patient perspective

Zeinab M. Alawadi, Isabel Leal, Uma R. Phatak, Juan R. Flores-Gonzalez, Julie L. Holihan, Burzeen E. Karanjawala, Stefanos G. Millas, Lillian S. Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) pathways are known to decrease complications and duration of stay in colorectal surgery patients. However, it is unclear whether an ERAS pathway would be feasible and effective at a safety-net hospital. The aim of this study was to identify local barriers and facilitators before the adoption of an ERAS pathway for patients undergoing colorectal operations at a safety-net hospital. Methods Semistructured interviews were conducted to assess the perceived barriers and facilitators before ERAS adoption. Stratified purposive sampling was used. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using content analysis. Analytic and investigator triangulation were used to establish credibility. Results Interviewees included 8 anesthesiologists, 5 surgeons, 6 nurses, and 18 patients. Facilitators identified across the different medical professions were (1) feasibility and alignment with current practice, (2) standardization of care, (3) smallness of community, (4) good teamwork and communication, and (5) caring for patients. The barriers were (1) difficulty in adapting to change, (2) lack of coordination between different departments, (3) special needs of a highly comorbid and socioeconomically disadvantaged patient population, (4) limited resources, and (5) rotating residents. Facilitators identified by the patients were (1) welcoming a speedy recovery, (2) being well-cared for and satisfied with treatment, (3) adequate social support, (4) welcoming early mobilization, and (5) effective pain management. The barriers were (1) lack of quiet and private space, (2) need for more patient education and counseling, and (3) unforeseen complications. Conclusion Although limited hospital resources are perceived as a barrier to ERAS implementation at a safety-net hospital, there is strong support for such pathways and multiple factors were identified that may facilitate change. Inclusion of patient perspectives is critical to identifying challenges and facilitators to implementing ERAS changes focused on optimizing patient perioperative health and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-712
Number of pages13
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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