How can I ensure that this patient does well through today’s surgery? How can I improve the care that I provide to my patients? These are questions that we as anesthesiologists ask ourselves each and every day. Answers to these questions elucidate the role that anesthesiologists have in optimizing postoperative outcomes.

Developing enhanced recovery pathways (ERPs) and protocols is a way for anesthesiologists to improve the clinical outcomes of our patients. Enhanced recovery after surgery emphasizes a multimodal and multidisciplinary approach to management of the surgical patient. ERPs should be created with input from the various members of the medical care team (i.e., surgery, anesthesia and nursing) who each bring their own perspectives and expertise. Enhanced recovery protocols incorporate evidence-based best practices. Successful implementation of ERPs has been shown to decrease variability between patients, resulting in earlier return...

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