Improve the process of getting the right organ to the right patient at the right time

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Automate real-time donor referral

Establish better metrics

Get the right organ to the right patient

Remove disincentives

Enable OPOs to merge or share services

Save even more lives

The U.S. has the highest performing donation and transplant system in the world. But as good as it is, it needs to get even better to support the more than 100,000 patients on the waiting list. Based on the input of experts in our field, UNOS is proposing a five-part package of reforms to drive improvements to save even more lives.

Issue

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:

  • Creating the first national donor image sharing hub: UNOS is implementing, in a phased fashion, a project that allows transplant hospital staff to make more informed decisions during the organ offer process by creating a consistent, reliable and secure national image sharing system. 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.
  • Using organ acceptance data to improve the decision-making process: UNOS is piloting an offer filters project to promote efficiency in donation and transplant by accelerating the process of offering and accepting offers. Providing transplant programs the ability to set more sophisticated screening criteria for offers they will accept reduces unwanted offers, decreases cold ischemic time, and increases organ acceptance, especially of hard to place organs.
  • Deploying natural language processing to increase kidney utilization: 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.

Solution

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.

Action

UNOS will increase its efforts to implement innovative technology solutions that aim to increase organ utilization and system efficiency.

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Insights from UNOS leaders on key issues in transplant today

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Benefits of streamlining organ offers and acceptance

  • Increased utilization of lifesaving organs.
  • Reduction in unwanted organ offers.
  • Improved patient outcomes.

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Remove disincentives

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