Enhanced recovery after brain tumor surgery: pilot protocol implementation in a large healthcare system.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Neurosurgical focus [electronic resource]


california; pni; sjci; pacific neuroscience; Humans; Pilot Projects; Enhanced Recovery After Surgery; Elective Surgical Procedures; Delivery of Health Care; Brain Neoplasms; Length of Stay; Postoperative Complications


OBJECTIVE: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols have been used in numerous specialties to improve the safety, efficiency, and cost of surgical interventions. Despite these successes, implementation of ERAS in cranial neurosurgery remains limited. In this study, a comprehensive ERAS protocol was implemented at two pilot sites within the Providence Health & Services system, and groundwork was laid for systemwide adoption.

METHODS: An enhanced recovery protocol was developed and implemented through an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, executive leadership, and clinical informatics professionals across preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative domains. Outcomes including length of stay, discharge destination, and cost were collected through systemwide databases and compared with nonprotocolized sites.

RESULTS: During the study period, both pilot sites became top performers across the regional system in all evaluated metrics. The median length of stay for elective craniotomy at site 1 was reduced to 1.25 days, with a home discharge rate of > 90%. The cost per case at the pilot sites was nearly $7000 less on average than that of the nonprotocolized sites.

CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of enhanced recovery protocols for brain tumor surgery is feasible and effective, resulting in marked improvements in healthcare efficiency. Future studies, including implementation of the current protocol across the entire Providence system, are needed to maximize the potential benefits of enhanced recovery programs.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)