Three new Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network-funded IT projects underway at United Network for Organ Sharing aim to promote efficiency in donation and transplant, increase the number of transplants performed nationwide, promote living organ donor and transplant recipient safety, improve transplant recipient outcomes and provide equity in access to transplants.
In the spring, UNOS began a phased release of UNetSM Image Sharing to organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the country. As the first national hub for securely sharing high-quality medical imaging studies, it provides a consistent, secure and seamless imaging application in DonorNet®, which is a technology application that electronically manages organ offers by collecting and filtering data before sending offers to hospitals with compatible transplant candidates.
“Having access to radiological images through UNet Image Sharing promotes living donor and transplant recipient safety by allowing transplant hospital staff to make more informed organ offer decisions,” said UNOS service owner Randall Fenderson. “It will improve waitlisted patient, living donor and transplant recipient outcomes by helping transplant personnel make a more informed match, because they will be able to take their own measurements of the organ, see a video of the organ functioning and probe for tissue density.”
Phase II of the offer filters project launched in August. The project allows kidney transplant programs to bypass single kidney donor offers they do not want to receive through custom-designed, multi-criteria filters. It is aimed at improving the kidney offer process and increasing organ utilization across the country.
“The offer filters project aligns with the OPTN strategic goals of increasing the number of transplants and promoting efficiency in donation and transplant,” said UNOS business architect Rob McTier. “The goal of project is to increase the number of transplants and get to organ offer acceptance faster by reducing unwanted offers, decreasing cold ischemic time and increasing organ acceptance, especially of hard to place organs.”
In early 2021, UNOS will release an upgraded DonorNet MobileSM to the transplant hospital community. Twenty transplant hospitals across the country are currently piloting the mobile-friendly website, and UNOS plans to add new features to it each month.
Originally released in 2007, UNOS created DonorNet Mobile for transplant hospital users to evaluate and respond to deceased donor organ offers from a mobile device. The new iteration will provide additional functionality and an enhanced user experience.
“The new DonorNet Mobile is all about enabling faster, easier, and more reliable access for transplant hospitals to evaluate and respond to organ offers,” said UNOS service owner Lloyd Board, adding that the initiative supports the OPTN strategic goal of promoting efficiency in the donation and transplant lifecycle. “By providing a streamlined, mobile-friendly interface with a broader array of donor and candidate information than our previous website, on-call surgeons, physicians, and coordinators can respond rapidly to organ offers while no longer feeling the need to be near a desktop computer,” Board said.
Collectively, the three new IT initiatives will improve processes and outcomes for transplant hospital staff, OPOs and patients, thus furthering the OPTN in the pursuit of achieving its strategic goals.