Matching organs. Saving lives.


WPFL recognizes transplant centers for organ donation awareness efforts

Hospital Campaign 2018 recognition language for National Partner use in member communications

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Workplace Partnership for Life (WPFL) Hospital Organ Donation Campaign recently recognized more than 1,200 hospitals and transplant centers, including 314 small and rural hospitals, for their efforts to promote organ donation awareness and registration. Hospitals earned platinum, gold, silver, and bronze recognition based on the number of outreach activities they implemented and donor registrations they facilitated between October 2017 and April 2018.

The Campaign unites hospitals, healthcare associations, organ procurement organizations, and Donate Life America affiliates in this national initiative to increase the number of people who register as organ, eye, and tissue donors. Campaign participants added nearly 23,700 donor registrations to state registries and the Puerto Rico registry, which includes enrollments from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Overall, hospital participation in the Campaign increased by 9 percent, including a 10 percent increase in small/rural hospital participation.

UNOS is a national partner in the campaign and proud to support this national initiative, which has enrolled more than 443,430 organ donors since its launch in June 2011. We encourage more hospitals, state hospital associations, and donation organizations across the country to join this important effort to help increase donor registrations.

Visit their website to learn more about the WPFL Hospital Organ Donation Campaign.

Public comment sought

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) offers policy proposals for public comment from August 3 through October 3, 2018.

Comments and replies will be published on the OPTN public comment page, to promote transparency and trust in the national transplant system. Visitors can also share comments on social media, if they wish.

We encourage patients, transplant candidates and recipients, living donors, donor families and transplant professionals to learn more about the proposals below and provide valuable feedback to help shape U.S. organ transplant policy:

  • Changes to Islet Bylaws (Pancreas Transplantation Committee)
  • Frameworks for Organ Distribution Ad Hoc Geography Committee)
  • Change to Hospital-Based OPO Voting Privileges (Membership and Professional Standards Committee)
  • Pancreas Program Functrional Inactivity (Pancreas Transplantation Committee)
  • Pediatric Transition and Transfer Guidance Document (Pediatric Committee)
  • Addressing HLA Typing Errors (Histocompatibility Committee)

Constituent Council initiative tests options to improve committee structure

The Executive Committee is sponsoring a proof of concept project to test options to improve the OPTN/UNOS Committee structure through enhanced communication and engagement.

In spring 2018 public comment, feedback to the concept paper entitled “Improving the OPTN/UNOS committee structure” indicated significant concerns about specific recommendations, but general support for the overarching goals of broadening committee engagement, improving intra-Committee communication, and increasing engagement between the Board and committees.  The Executive Committee carefully considered feedback. They discussed forging ahead with a formal proposal based on the concept paper, abandoning the project, or testing a modified version of the proposed structure that addresses concerns raised during public comment. Ultimately, they decided to pursue this latter option.

The proof of concept, which will be tested during the fall public comment cycle, maintains the original structure and purpose of all committees.  It also maintains the ability for any committees to sponsor policy projects.

Two committees, Patient Affairs and Transplant Coordinators, are testing a “Constituent Council” structure: a constituency’s official representatives on other committees (e.g. the patient representative on the Kidney Committee) as well as that constituency’s representatives on the Board of Directors will merge with the current roster of members for that committee.  This proof of concept also invites other members of the constituency who self-identify as having a patient or clinical transplant coordinator perspective, but do not serve in that official capacity on their home committee (e.g. an OPO representative on the Liver Committee who is also a recipient).

The proof of concept will last from July 1, 2018-December 30, 2018.  Lessons learned will be used to determine future expansions of the proof of concept.


Plan now for the next UNOS Primer – October 9 in Minneapolis

A full-day UNOS Primer will be held on October 9 in Minneapolis in conjunction with the Transplant Quality Institute (TQI). UNOS Primers provide transplant professionals a deep look inside the OPTN.

Attend this UNOS Primer and you will:

  • Learn how to effectively use tools available on the UNet Data Services Portal to better manage data quality and compliance
  • Discuss tools that allow you to review organ offers and outcomes of organs refused
  • Find out how UNOS and the SRTR work together and how the data you enter influences SRTR data
  • Find valuable tools, like the OPTN evaluation plan
  • Learn about all the education available free on UNOS Connect
  • Learn how policies are made and how they impact data collection

The American Foundation for Donation and Transplantation is the sponsor of both the UNOS Primer and TQI. While this is the perfect opportunity for TQI attendees, TQI registration is not required to attend the Primer.

See the UNOS Primer agenda, speaker list and session objectives and register here.

Spring 2018 OSRs Upcoming Release, PSRs Delay

The SRTR will release the spring 2018 OPO-specific reports (OSRs) according to its previously anticipated timeline. The secure preview will occur on July.16.2018, and the public release will occur on August 9.2018. However, the release of the program-specific reports (PSRs) is postponed at this time. This delay is due to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) experiencing an unanticipated loss of its source for supplemental information identifying whether a patient is currently living or deceased. In April 2018, OPTN began receiving this information again, and is in the process of confirming a large volume of data. All patient status information that is ultimately confirmed will then be incorporated into the OPTN database and will be used in OPTN and SRTR data analyses and reporting, including the PSRs.

As soon as the updated information becomes available, we will announce the PSR release timeline. At that time, we will also offer updated SAFs for researchers who received a SAF release from September 2017, December 2017, March 2018, or June 2018.

This missing information also potentially affects the 2017 Annual Data Report (ADR) development. The anticipated publication date is not available at this time, but we will alert the public as soon as a date is available.

Stay tuned to our website and social media platforms for more information on this matter as it develops. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Improving the transplant system with collaborative research

UNOS Principal Research Scientist Darren Stewart describes the start of UNOS Labs and talks about the first two experiments on physician offer-acceptance behavior.


UNOS staff regularly collaborate with members and industry experts on projects to improve the transplant system and increase the number of transplants performed.

In order to further such work, we created a virtual research center known as UNOS Labs. UNOS Labs is an experimental incubator that brings together data, technology, and industry expertise.

We use UNOS Labs to find out if a transformational idea will work or a hypothesis on ways to improve the transplant is true. It is not an academic exercise or theoretical playground, but a place where we can test products, tools, and methods for insights to improve the system. A project or study must meet the following criteria to be a UNOS Labs study:

  • Experimental – Needs scientific investigation to answer question or test validity
  • Micro-oriented – Starts small with potential to scale to larger system
  • High risk – Lacks sufficient data to know if it’s going to work or fail
  • Data-driven – Relies on newly created data to inform decisions
  • Collaborative –Relies on partnering with industry (transplant and/or non-transplant) experts

Pillars of UNOS Labs

UNOS Labs experiments and projects fall into three major areas.

  1. Technology Innovations – Collaborate with industry leaders to deploy new tools and technologies to strengthen system performance
  2. Behavioral Research – Partner with human behavior experts to study the impacts of human interactions on the system
  3. Data Science – Test new algorithms, types of data, models, and advanced analytics to uncover actionable insights

After UNOS Labs
Work from UNOS Labs will lead down different paths. OPTN committees could use some results to inform policy development. Staff could implement improvements identified into UNet. Some data may identify the need for further research. Other projects could turn into value-added services we offer the transplant community.

To learn how you can be part of UNOS Labs, email us at

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