Despite a lockdown, a suspension of elective surgeries, and a tumultuous experience with COVID-19 in the Philippines, the multidisciplinary surgical team the Philippines General Hospital (PGH) completed their ERAS® Implementation Program virtually on August, 1 2020. They represent the second hospital in the Philippines to have an ERAS® Qualified unit, which they received for implementing perioperative care guidelines in colorectal and small bowel surgeries. The PGH was in fact ready to complete their implementation program in March 2020, but this was just as the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
The PGH uses the ERAS® Interactive Audit System to manage the data involved in implementing ERAS®. The team describes that it is good to have a tool that provides a baseline of how they are performing. It further helps them understand what they can change. Changes in the hospital are a big team effort that is maintained through regular meetings and good communication with the entire surgical team.
“It’s never going to be easy”, said Timothy Ybabao, the ERAS® nurse at the Philippines General Hospital in Manila. Even before the pandemic, changing old habits in the hospital to ensure better care for patients is difficult. There might be resistance and it can be particularly challenging for the ERAS® coordinator to juggle many tasks. Mr. Ybabao spends half of his work time on ERAS®, keeping everyone in check and ensuring guidelines are followed.
The PGH is a large teaching hospital that serves both private and charity patients. The hospital reports that the patients and their loved ones appreciate ERAS®. For the future, they hope they can maintain their good outcomes and implement ERAS® in several other areas of surgery.
Trained by The Medical City, the colorectal team at the PGH successfully completed their EIP on August 1st.
Dr. Manuel Roxas, MD, Dr. Marianna Sioson, MD, and Marie Jaymee Sosa-Sanchez, RN, from the Medical City in Manila – an ERAS® Center of Excellence – trained the PGH team and helped them complete this challenging program during unprecedented times. Both hospitals will continue to collaborate on ERAS® work in the future.