17 October, 2012
Innovative programme speeds up patient recovery
Health Minister Tony Ryall says faster recovery for patients is just one benefit of a new programme being used by public hospitals across the country.
The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programme helps people recover more quickly and safely after their operation so they have fewer complications and get home to their families sooner.
“Bay of Plenty District Health Board (DHB), who recently adopted the programme, has reported significant improvements,” says Mr Ryall.
“Following major bowel surgery, patients are now able to eat and drink and are out of bed on the day of their surgery. And they start walking about the ward the following day.
“This is a great result. Prior to the ERAS programme, it would normally take patients several days before they could get out of bed after bowel surgery.
“The DHB is doing this by ensuring patients are in optimal condition for surgery. They are changing anaesthetic and surgery techniques, such as using laparoscopic surgery, avoiding the use of drains and having targeted rehabilitation after surgery. Patients feel better, quicker.
“This innovative programme which began in Counties-Manukau is now in six DHBs – Bay of Plenty, Capital & Coast, Counties-Manukau, Nelson Marlborough, Southern and Waitemata – and is being taken up by other regions.”