Improve the process of getting the right organ to the right patient at the right time
Automate real-time donor referral
Establish better metrics
Get the right organ to the right patient
Enable OPOs to merge or share services
Save even more lives
UNOS is doing to get the right organ to the right patient at the right time
New technology, innovative data tools and collaborative research projects help drive continuous improvement.
Available organs sometimes go unused because the unique medical circumstances of the donor limit the number of candidates who could benefit from the organ. The matching system can be made more efficient by directing such organs in a timely way to transplant programs most willing to accept them.
UNOS is developing and implementing a number of innovative projects to increase the efficiency of organ placement, often for organs that may otherwise go unused under the traditional matching system. In these efforts, UNOS draws from data gained from more than 30 years of serving as the OPTN and partnerships with OPOs, transplant hospitals, and leaders in technology, research and science nationwide. Recent and current initiatives include:
Tools to enable better, faster decisions
Enable informed, quality decisions on organ offers, with:
UNOS is implementing, in a phased fashion, the first national hub for securely sharing high-quality medical imaging studies. Incorporating quick access to high quality radiological images into organ offers has the potential to decrease the number of organs that are not used and increase the number of transplants overall.
UNOS has piloted a project to promote efficiency in donation and transplant by providing transplant programs the ability to set more sophisticated screening criteria for offers they will accept. Utilizing these filters reduces unwanted offers, decreases cold ischemic time, and increases organ acceptance, especially of hard to place organs.
Our interactive tool allows transplant centers to review their own organ acceptance rates for specific types of donors, along with transplant-specific and aggregate outcomes information on the organs they refused that were transplanted elsewhere. Centers use the information to analyze and improve their clinical decision making processes with the goal of increasing transplants.
UNOS makes available benchmark reports for OPOs that allow them to compare their own organ offer placement attempts to their peers and determine how their processes affect their ability to recover and place organs.
Research to optimize system efficiency
Deep understanding to pave the way to increased organ utilization, by:
- Simulation platform to understand and improve behaviors
- Innovative methodology may predict which hard-to-place will be accepted by transplant hospitals
- Real-time data analysis to predict the optimal route for organ transplantation
- Clarifying associations between kidney-specific prognostic markers and long-term, post-transplant outcomes
Our powerful simulation platform, SimUNetSM, allows researchers to analyze a variety of factors involved in the organ acceptance process, acting as a testing ground for understanding and improving behaviors.
A study led by UNOS researchers investigates how this innovative methodology may predict which deceased donor kidneys will experience placement difficulties and forecast which will be accepted by transplant hospitals, and paves the way for improving organ utilization rates.
To decrease the nationwide organ discard rate, UNOS researchers are involved in a project to better predict organ travel time. Our team is conducting real-time data analysis to refine a feasibility algorithm aimed at predicting the optimal route for organ transplantation.
UNOS is partnering with university researchers on a study that aims to reduce the national kidney discard rate by clarifying associations between kidney-specific prognostic markers and long-term, post-transplant outcomes.
By adopting policies and practices that streamline organ offers and acceptance, the organ donation and transplant field can improve the matching system and eliminate speedbumps that can keep the organ procurement system from working as efficiently as possible.
UNOS will increase its efforts to implement innovative technology solutions that aim to increase organ utilization and system efficiency.
Originally published on Sept. 15, 2020; updated Dec. 5, 2020
Benefits of streamlining organ offers and acceptance
- Increased utilization of lifesaving organs.
- Reduction in unwanted organ offers.
- Improved patient outcomes.