The investigators of the EAGLE study - an international service improvement study to investigate the value of an educational tool delivered to surgeons and their teams to reduce the risk of anastomotic leak (leak of a join in the bowel) after right hemicolectomy or ileocaecal resection – are encouraging more hospitals and surgeons to become involved in the study.
Led by the University of Birmingham, the educational team of the European Society of Coloproctology has developed an online training package to deliver to 350 hospitals in 30 countries and hope to include more than 2,000 surgeons and 4,500 patients in total.
The programme has 3 main strategies: (i) enhanced pre-operative risk stratification (making sure it is safe to join the bowel together for each patient); (ii) harmonisation of surgical technique (making the join as good as it can be and checking it carefully after it is created), and (iii) implementation of an intra-operative anastomosis 'checklist' (focusing the attention of the whole theatre team at this critical stage of the operation).
The investigators are using a novel scientific approach to assess the patient benefit that enables not only the quality improvement itself to be delivered to all participating hospitals but also enables collection and analysis of data to measure the effect of these measures. According to the investigators, the best way of doing this is to embed the proposed quality improvement into a staggered implementation programme, allowing the effect to be assessed between the centres. The specific methodology proposed introduces the intervention in a step-wise fashion to all hospitals. By the end, all sites will have implemented the programme. Overall, the investigators hope to reduce the leak rate by 30% from 8.1% to 5.6% in about 4,500 patients.
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