Enhanced Recovery Simulation in Colorectal Surgery: Design of Virtual Online Patients

Laura Beyer-Berjot, MD, Vishal Patel, MRCS, Paul Ziprin, MD, FRCS, Dave Taylor, MSC, MBCS, Stephane Berdah, MD, PhD, Ara Darzi, KBE, MD, FACS, FRCS, HonFREng, FMedSci, Rajesh Aggarwal, MD, PhD, MA, FRCS

Department of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology, St. Mary’s Campus, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. Center for Surgical Teaching and Research (CERC), Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France.

Introduction: The aim of the present study was to design virtual patients involving enhanced recovery programs (ERP) in colorectal surgery, in order to train surgical residents in peri-operative care. Indeed, ERP have revolutionized the peri-operative care and improved patients’ outcomes in colorectal surgery. Training, using online virtual patients with different pre- and post-operative cases, may increase compliance for ERP.

Methods: Pre- and post-operative cases were built in the virtual world of Second-Life™ according to a linear string design method. All pre- and post-operative cases were storyboarded by a colorectal surgeon in accordance with guidelines in both ERP and colorectal surgery, and reviewed by an expert in colorectal surgery.

Results: Four preoperative and five postoperative cases of patients undergoing colorectal surgery were designed, including both simple and complex cases. Comments were provided through case progression to allow autonomic practice (such as “prescribed”, “this is not useful” or “the consultant does not agree with your decision”). Preoperative cases involved knowledge in colorectal diseases and ERP management such as preoperative counseling, medical review, absence of bowel preparation in colonic surgery, absence of fasting, minimal length incision and discharge plan. Postoperative cases involved uneventful and complicated outcomes in order to train in both simple implementation of ERP (absence of nasogastric tube, epidural analgesia, early use of oral analgesia, perioperative nutrition, early mobilization) and decision making for more complex cases.

Conclusion: Virtual colorectal patients have been developed to train in ERP through pre- and post-operative cases. Such patients could be included in a whole pathway care training involving technical and non-technical skills.

Session: Poster Presentation

Program Number: P164

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