KUDOS to IAA’s Dr. Trevor Sutton and team for their recent recognition by the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA)!
The Committee News section of their recent newsletter highlighted this timely and critically important study regarding elective, urgent, and emergent CABG surgeries and the effects of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol across races and ethnicity.
This timely and critically important study concluded that the Enhanced Recovery after Surgery protocol, (ERAS), is not only a promising quality initiative for all patients, but also potentially serves as a tool for health equity initiatives.
According to the SCA article, “In recent years, several publications have reported on racial disparities in surgical outcomes. However, investigative work dedicated to studying these differences and workable solutions in a systematic way is lacking. This study by Sutton et al is therefore timely and brings optimism to finding solutions to this important issue.
It adds to the growing evidence that ERAS improves outcomes for patients and narrows the racial gaps in outcomes.
This effect of ERAS on outcomes for racial minorities has been reported for other types of surgical procedures including colorectal surgery. Since the use of ERAS is becoming more widespread in cardiac surgery, it makes sense to capitalize on all the ways it can improve outcomes in the minority patient population.
As the authors point out, there is a lot more work to be done in understanding the exact mechanisms by which ERAS improves outcomes among racial minority groups. It makes intuitive sense that providing care, using robust and vetted standardized pathways throughout the peri-operative period will even out the playing field for all patients, regardless of racial or ethnic background. Some scholars have suggested that standardized pathways are successful by modifying decisional behavior and reducing the impact of providers’ conscious and unconscious biases.
This study also raises important questions in our minds, however.
- Are there specific elements of ERAS that are more impactful in equalizing the quality of care for racial minorities?
- And how well are providers adhering to these protocols for all comers?
Large prospective and multicenter studies looking at physician preferences and practices may elucidate more important elements of this program and its impact on disparity work.
Nevertheless, the authors have given encouraging food for thought and we look forward to future work as we seek to make advances in making cardiac surgical care equitable for people of all races.”
Congratulations Dr. Sutton and team on this very important work and recognition.Dr. Sutton Committee Member News 2022