UNOS is launching a second phase of a national initiative to help organ procurement organizations (OPOs) identify and share effective practices related to recovery of donation after circulatory death (DCD) organs. This is an expansion of the project’s first phase, which involved 26 of the nation’s 57 OPOs.
The number of DCD organs recovered annually has risen steadily over the past decade, with 2020 exceeding 2019’s record-setting numbers by more than 18 percent. All OPOs are again invited to participate in this continuation of the project in order to build on the recent performance improvement trends and save more lives. A description of the project is available on the registration page on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network website.
Beth Overacre, UNOS performance improvement lead, says increasing recovery of DCD organs has an immediate impact on transplant candidates, because it increases organs for transplant, but the effect on donor families is also significant and something that motivates participants. “Being able to increase the number of donors means that more families are able to share the gift of life. OPOs do an amazing job honoring donor families, it’s what drives them to continuously improve.”
The DCD Procurement Collaborative is currently in the enrollment period, which closes Oct. 15, 2021. Participating OPOs will work toward the project goal to increase DCD procurement by testing various interventions and processes within their organizations. Teams will have access to a private project platform with an improvement guide and resources, and are provided coaching to support them on their respective project work.
Participants will actively work on their projects from Nov. 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022. During that time they will attend monthly collaborative calls, attend monthly webinars and submit materials related to their plan-do-study-act approaches. An evaluation phase will follow and will offer an opportunity to analyze the outcome and process measure data to determine the effectiveness of the project.
UNOS brings collaborative improvement projects to the community
The continuation of the DCD project is the latest of several collaborative improvement initiatives the OPTN has undertaken in the past few years.
- A pediatric liver discovery project launched in 2020 and involved more than a dozen transplant hospitals.
- Other past collaborative improvement projects include the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network, which aimed to reduce risk-avoidance behaviors and increase transplantation of deceased donor kidneys with a kidney donor profile indexgreater than 50 percent.
For more information about OPTN collaborative improvement, contact [email protected].