Patient engagement to enhance recovery for children undergoing surgery

Kurt F. Heiss, Mehul V Raval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


For over 20 years enhanced recovery protocols (ERPs) have been used to decrease the physiologic stress and inflammation of surgery using evidence-based principles. ERPs include optimizing patient preparation, creating less trauma using minimally invasive anesthetic and surgical techniques, and regular audit of outcomes. A critical aspect of ERPs is patient engagement in all phases of care, which facilitates effective team function and focused oversight of patient flow through the system. Counseling extends beyond traditional review of surgical risks and benefits, by creating clear daily patient goals, establishing pain management plans, optimizing nutrition, and defining criteria for discharge. The patient and family are provided written and visual media resources to review. This counseling and education clearly outlines the bidirectional expectations, ensures preparedness, and empowers the patient and family by explaining the logic surrounding many of the ERP interventions. The patient and family are, in turn, activated as key stakeholders in the process and have a shared vision with the healthcare team. Most patients enjoy being considered partners and agents in their own healthcare. ERPs facilitate an optimal surgical experience that can improve patient satisfaction, outcomes, and value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Pediatric Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • ERAS
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Length of stay
  • Multimodal pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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