Elective surgery improvement initiatives


ACI Surgery and Anaesthesia Team


The Elective Surgery Improvement Plan aims to:

  • improve patient outcomes and experiences of care
  • optimise resource allocation
  • improve staff experience in care delivery.

In partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health and the Surgical Services Taskforce, the ACI is developing evidence-based guidance, tools and resources to support clinicians and health services improve elective surgery in NSW.

There are four key initiatives driving these improvements: value-based surgery; enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS); prehabilitation; and same-day joint replacement surgery.

Value-based surgery

Value-based healthcare involves matching and maximising the benefits of health resources to evidence-based outcomes, best practice and personalised patient outcomes, that are aligned with the patient’s preferences.

This means patients will have the right procedures, for the right reasons, at the right time.

Enhanced recovery after surgery

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) models are multi-modal perioperative care pathways. They are designed to achieve early recovery after surgical procedures by maintaining preoperative organ function and reducing the profound stress response following surgery.


Prehabilitation improves a patient’s physical and psychological function to support them before, during and after surgery. This can lead to a faster recovery, better patient experiences and cost savings for the health system.

Same day joint replacement

Same-day joint replacement surgery provides an opportunity for an alternative care pathway for patients accessing joint replacement surgery across NSW. It enables the patient to be discharged within 24 hours of their surgical admission.


Elective, or planned, surgery is scheduled in advance of a patient presenting to hospital. It can be categorised as urgent,  semi-urgent or non-urgent.

The ACI’s Surgery and Anaesthesia team supports enhanced access and outcomes of elective surgery by:

  • identifying and sharing innovative organisational models
  • developing evidence-informed clinical guides to encourage best practice surgical care
  • developing tools to assess and monitor surgical outcomes
  • creating strategies and resources to support implementation of improvement initiatives
  • connecting clinicians and health managers with an interest in surgery to build collaborative relationships across the health system.

Find out more about the Surgical Services Taskforce and the Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network.

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