Governance

United Network for Organ Sharing is led by a Board of Directors, which oversees management of the organization. UNOS’ corporate governance principles are outlined in a series of documents adopted by the board and reviewed periodically to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the organization and reflect current industry best practices.

Board subcommittees

In 2012, the board formed three subcommittees to study specific issues and make recommendations to the board. These subcommittees include:

Best practices

UNOS carries out our work with a deep commitment to accountability and transparency. Our strong performance is reflected in our business practices, accreditations and certifications:

GuideStar accreditation

UNOS is committed to ongoing transparency and accountability in support of our mission, and is verified by several charity evaluators, including GuideStar, the premier source of information on U.S. nonprofit organizations.

System Security-Federal Certification

UNOS developed an online database system, called UNetSM, to collect, store, analyze and publish all data that pertains to the patient waiting list, organ matching and transplants. This data collection and management system meets the highest security standards for federal computer systems.

The confidentially, integrity and availability of the data collected must be protected from unauthorized use, modification or deletion. Each of these sensitivity criteria is rated on a scale of high, moderate and low. The sensitivity scores are assigned by determining the potential impact on organizations or individuals should there be a breach of security.

  • Confidentiality for the UNet system is rated as moderate due to the personally identifiable information collected and used in organ matching.
  • Integrity is rated as high due to the effect of unauthorized modification of the data on waitlist maintenance and organ matching.
  • Availability is rated as moderate due to the adverse effect of unavailability on waitlist maintenance and organ matching.

To ensure the UNet application and supporting infrastructure support the needed levels of confidentiality, integrity and availability, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network contract requires the system to be certified and authorized to operate every three years. The certification and authorization process includes an audit of Heath Resources and Services Administration-required documents that report compliance with security regulations, an audit of the infrastructure that supports UNet, and penetration tests where auditors attempt to access and compromise the infrastructure and UNet.

Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

UNOS has adopted the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as its companywide improvement framework for achieving high performance and driving continuous improvement. Using the Baldrige methodology, UNOS has created action plans to support organizational improvement in workforce development, operations and member relationships. These action plans have resulted in enhancements to current work and UNOS’ ability to monitor progress.

In addition to the Baldrige framework, UNOS incorporates a variety of improvement methodologies, not only for UNOS internal operations, but also for helping member organizations improve the services they provide.

Enterprise risk management

UNOS has implemented an enterprise risk management system to evaluate and alleviate apparent risks and make improvements to operations while keeping the goals and mission of the organization in focus. Risks and process improvements are identified and ranked. Responses and process changes that address the risk or improvement are formulated and monitored for their progress toward implementation.

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