Background: Despite the emergence of Enhanced Recovery Protocols (ERPs) in cardiac surgery, there is no consensus on the essential elements for data reporting for quality improvement efforts, as well as accountability and standardization of outcome reporting across institutions. The aim of this study was to establish a consensus on essential data elements for cardiac ERAS®.
Methods: A 2-round modified Delphi technique was utilized based on existing recommendations from the recently published ERAS® cardiac surgery consensus guidelines. Round 1 included a steering committee of 10 experts who oversaw formulation of a focused list of data elements into 3 main areas: Preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative. Round 2 consisted of a multidisciplinary, multinational, heterogenous group of 50 voting experts from across the United States and Europe. All participants evaluated their level of agreement with each data element using a 5-point Likert scale with consensus threshold of 70%.
Results: In round 1, 17 data elements were considered essential (consensus > = 70%, either positive or negative) and 6 were considered marginal (consensus < = 70%, either positive or negative). In round 2, positive consensus was achieved for 15/17 (88.2%) data elements in the essential category, and all six data elements (100%) in the marginal category, indicating a high level of overall agreement.
Conclusion: This initial study, which identified 21 key data elements for collection in an ERAS® cardiac program, will aid clinicians in establishing a framework for evaluating the quality of their contemporary ERP processes and will allow acquisition of data to help benchmark performance metrics between hospitals.