Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Laurie Hopper, DNP

Project Team Faculty Member

Kelley McGuire, PhD


ERAS, cervical fusion surgery, neurosurgery ERAS


Spinal surgeries can lead to an increase in costs and complications for patients and hospital organizations. Complications following spine surgery have been identified in 16.4% to 80% of cases for spine surgeries. An Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) protocol is a set of guidelines with the goal of improving surgical outcomes and improving a patient’s quality of life. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to implement an ERAS protocol for adult cervical spine surgery patients at a tertiary care teaching center with the goal to reduce hospital length of stay and readmissions. Inclusion criteria included adult patients undergoing cervical spine surgery with a focus on cervical fusion surgeries. The evaluation centered on the comparison of outcome measures prior to the ERAS protocol and post ERAS implementation. Six hundred adult cervical spine fusion cases occurred from May 26, 2022 to August 23, 2022 with 132 cases using ERAS protocol. Patients with the non-ERAS protocol had readmission rates of 4.3, while ERAS protocol patients had a readmission rate of 3.2. Length of stay in non-ERAS patients resulted in 7.2 days, while ERAS patients had a length of stay of 4.7 days. This study resulted in reduced length of stay, hospital readmissions, and overall costs. Few limitations occurred. The ERAS protocol had a positive impact on patient outcomes and practice improvements were achieved.

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