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UNOS to launch OPTN collaborative improvement project to increase recovery of DCD organs

UNOS to launch OPTN collaborative improvement project to increase recovery of DCD organs

A new collaborative improvement project involving organ procurement organizations (OPOs) that aims to identify and share effective practices related to recovery of donation after circulatory death (DCD) organs is set to begin next month . United Network for Organ Sharing is launching the project on behalf of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network in response to recent growth in the use of DCD organs.

Increasing DCD recoveries

In 2019, a record-setting year for recovery of deceased donor organs, DCD donors contributed 23 percent of the 11,870 deceased donors recovered, according to the most recent OPTN data. UNOS works together with the donation and transplant community to find ways to continuously improve the national transplant system, and collaborating to increase DCD donor recoveries and DCD organ utilization will lead to more lifesaving organs being available to even more patients in need.

This new project aligns with several initiatives that fall under the strategic goal to increase the number of transplants, including expanding the use of collaborative improvement methodologies and models to increase organ utilization, and promoting knowledge of and increasing implementation of effective donation and procurement practices.

OPO DCD procurement project to continue into 2021

The DCD collaborative project has three phases:

  • Design phase – October-November 2020
    • Practice model organizations have been identified and an improvement guide has been developed. After the project framework is finalized, participating organizations will be able to enroll in the project beginning in November 2020.
  • Deployment phase – December 2020-June 2021
    • OPOs will be oriented to the collaborative improvement model and the project goal, which is to increase DCD procurement. Teams will have access to a private project platform and be coached as they identify, initiate and work through their respective projects.
  • Evaluation phase – July-September 2021
    • Analysis of outcome and process measures will be reviewed to determine the effectiveness of the project and determine next steps, which could include a subsequent cohort, a national launch, or promotion of education.

UNOS brings collaborative improvement projects to the community

This is the second UNOS-led collaborative improvement project undertaken in 2020. A pediatric liver discovery project launched earlier this year involves more than a dozen transplant hospitals. 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 index greater than 50 percent.

By tracking progress and sharing key learnings in a supportive environment—coached by UNOS collaborative improvement specialists—members can help one another improve organizational processes, become more efficient and increase lifesaving transplants.

For more information about collaborative improvement at UNOS, contact [email protected].

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