Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program to improve patient surgical experience

(HORIZON) – Horizon Health Network (Horizon) is now offering a program that will help patients become strong before surgery and recover safely and return home as soon as possible after surgery. 

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a standardized patient-centered approach to surgery that encourages patients to be an active participant in their surgical journey.

Key pillars of the ERAS program include patient engagement, minimal fasting before and after surgery, early mobilization after surgery and a multimodal approach to pain control. Patients receive information on the importance of being their healthiest prior to surgery and education on how to prepare for a successful recovery at home. 

Horizon is currently offering ERAS for patients in our care for elective hip and knee replacements at its Saint John Regional Hospital (SJRH) and St. Joseph’s Hospital (St. Joe’s) and colorectal (bowel) surgery at The Moncton Hospital (TMH). Miramichi Regional Hospital (MRH), Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECRH), and Upper River Valley Hospital (URVH) are at various stages of implementation using the standardized approach. In time, the program will be extended to other surgical specialties across Horizon.

“This program ensures we provide quality surgical access and care to our patients – while creating capacity in our health care system to improve wait times for those who have yet to be seen,” said Margaret Melanson, Horizon’s interim president and CEO.

ERAS implements standardized best practice protocols which have proven to decrease complications and readmissions to hospital after surgery, while improving patient satisfaction. ERAS focuses on patients coming into surgery stronger and implementing protocols that will reduce surgical stress, therefore decreasing the length of time patients need to stay in the hospital after surgery. 

“ERAS means surgery will have less of an impact on our patients’ lives so they can get back to enjoying the things that matter to them,” said Melanson.

On average, 700 hip and knee replacements (combined total) are performed at Horizon’s SJRH and St. Joe’s each year, and 160 bowel surgeries are performed at Horizon’s TMH every year.

Improving the overall patient experience is a key priority of Horizon’s plan to ensure all New Brunswickers receive the quality care they need. This plan consists of three other priorities, including access to health care, specifically emergency care, surgical services, and addiction and mental health services; the retention and recruitment of physicians, nurses and staff; and improving patient flow at our health care facilities. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at HorizonNB.ca.

This initiative also supports the Government of New Brunswick’s provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action, specifically, the action area of creating improved access to surgery.

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For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations