Advantages of, and Adaptations to, Enhanced Recovery Protocols for Perioperative Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Journal of minimally invasive gynecology


Objective: This review formulates the rationale for using enhanced recovery protocols (ERPs) to standardize and optimize perioperative care during this high-risk time to minimize poor outcomes owing to provider, patient, and system vulnerabilities. Data sources: n/a METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: A literature review using key Medical Subject Headings terms was performed-according to methods described by the Cochrane Collaboration and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines-on studies that described enhanced recovery and coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Tabulation, integration, and results: Modifications to our existing ERPs related to the COVID-19 pandemic should include new accommodations for patient education, preoperative COVID-19 testing, prehabilitation, and intraoperative infection as well as thromboembolism risk reduction. Conclusion: ERPs are evidence-based, best practice guidelines applied across the perioperative continuum to mitigate surgical stress, decrease complications, and accelerate recovery. These benefits are part of the high-value-care equation needed to solve the clinical, operational, and financial challenges of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The factors driving outcomes on ERPs, such as the provision of minimally invasive surgery, warrant careful consideration. Tracking patient outcomes and improving care in response to outcomes data are key to the success of clinical care protocols such as ERPs. Numerous emerging clinical registries and reporting systems have been activated to provide outcomes data on the impact of COVID-19. This will inform and change surgical practice as well as provide opportunity to learn if the advantages that surgeons, patients, and the healthcare system might gain from using ERPs during a pandemic are meaningful.

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