The American College of Surgeons (ACS), and the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Baltimore, are leading the conduct of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery, a new surgical quality improvement program funded and guided by AHRQ.

When introduced, enhanced recovery after surgery protocols were used specifically for patients under-going colorectal surgery, but subsequently these protocols have been applied to other surgical lines.1-3  Today, enhanced recovery protocols have been adopted in several institutions globally and have been tested in a few large-scale health care systems such as the National Health Services in the U.K. When applied, enhanced recovery programs have been shown to decrease the incidence of postoperative complications and decrease length of stay in the hospital without the use of...

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