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Mount Sinai’s clinical excellence in improving outcomes for colorectal surgery patients recognized by CAHO

Mount Sinai Hospital surgeon Dr. Robin McLeod and her clinical team are setting a new standard of care for patients following elective colorectal surgery. Dr. McLeod is the Chair of this team, which is made up of clinicians and nurses from many University of Toronto-affiliated hospitals, who have introduced a new guideline to enhance the recovery of patients following colorectal surgery – a group highly susceptible to post-surgery complications.

The team is a recipient of a grant from the Council of Academic Hospitals in Ontario (CAHO)’s prestigious Adopting Research to Improve Care program for “Implementation of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Guideline to Optimize Outcomes following Colorectal Surgery” project. Dr. McLeod and her team have been busy working on best practices in general surgery since 2006 and these new guidelines are the latest innovative projects from these clinicians.

As a result of CAHO’s recognition, Dr. McLeod’s team’s protocols are considered best practices that are being implemented in 12 hospitals across Ontario. The new standards of care look at ways to reduce the number of complications following colorectal surgery by bringing together the multidisciplinary team of surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, physiotherapists and dieticians who care for the patient as they transition through the multiple points of care. The goal is to improve communication and collaboration between the health care teams, as well as base care on best evidence in order to improve patient outcomes including reducing pain and complications, while helping patients to recover faster and leave the hospital sooner.

There are approximately 14,000 colon resections performed in Ontario each year and current literature suggests the overall complication rate following colorectal surgery is 25-50%. Dr. McLeod’s project has been shown to decrease postoperative complications by 50% and while traditional models of care see the patient leave the hospital after 7 – 10 days, this project means that patients may leave the hospital 2 or more days earlier.

“On behalf of the Best Practices in General Surgery team I am thrilled to be recognized by CAHO for a project that will improve outcomes for patients across Ontario following colorectal surgery,” said Dr. Robin McLeod, surgeon and Angelo and Alfredo De Gasperis Families Chair in Colorectal Cancer and IBD Research at Mount Sinai Hospital. “The Best Practice in General Surgery program was instituted at Mount Sinai and other University of Toronto-affiliated hospitals in 2006 and we are proud to be taking a provincial leadership role in leading the quality agenda.”

This is the second year in a row that Mount Sinai clinicians have been recognized for leading practice that have set new standards of care in hospitals across Ontario by improving quality and patient safety. Last year Dr. Andrew Morris received an Adopting Research to Improve Care Project grant for the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. This program was recognized for reducing unnecessary use and complications from antimicrobials use in Intensive Care Units and developing a system for hospitals to compare their results and develop best practices. This project is now being offered at 12 hospitals across Ontario.