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Effective practices

Improving the system together

Learn about OPTN Collaborative Improvement Projects, and find tools and learning resources that are helping to make the system stronger.

DCD Lung Transplant

DCD Procurement

Offer Acceptance

Tools and news

Collaborative learning

OPTN DCD Lung Transplant Collaborative

More lives saved through collaborative improvement process

Project aim: An eight-month collaborative improvement project focused on increasing lung transplants from donation after circulatory death (DCD) donors.

Participating programs focused on optimizing internal program processes as well as strengthening collaboration with OPOs.

Resources and more about the collaborative improvement project


More about the collaborative

More than 45 percent of the U.S. adult lung transplant programs—29 in total—participated in the collaborative.
Project participants completed 126 DCD lung transplants during the collaborative, representing an approximately 45% increase when compared to the eight months preceding the collaborative—and surpassing the goal of 113 transplants.

Collaborative learning

OPTN DCD Procurement Collaborative

Project aim: To support efforts to increase deceased donor organs available for transplant by identifying and sharing effective practices regarding approaches to donation after circulatory death (DCD) procurement.

This project involved two successive cohorts of organ procurement organizations (OPOs), and concluded with a Learning Congress that was open to the entire OPO community.

UpdatedRead about impacts from the OPTN collaborative

Explore OPTN Learning Congress session recordings in UNOS Connect

Participants in OPTN DCD Procurement Collaborative
3 participants from the DCD Procurement Collaborative: Schawnté Williams-Taylor, Javier Nieto, and Rodney Pilson
Workshop participants at table writing on large paper
Participants gathered around an easel with sticky notes discussing educational opportunities

Collaborative learning

Offer Acceptance Collaborative

Videos: OPTN members highlight benefits and opportunities at the Offer Acceptance Collaborative Improvement kickoff.

Members: Watch presentations from the kickoff (CEPTCs available): Search for OPTN Offer Acceptance Collaborative Playlist within UNOS Connect

Collaborative Improvement (CI) initiatives:

Quality-focused efforts designed to bring organizations and teams together to work on a shared improvement goal.

The OPTN designs these projects so members can share effective practices, accelerating progress and improvement in the donation and transplant system. Learn about all projects

Resources and news

Community connections

Partners for improvement

Collaborative Improvement

Collaborative Improvement (CI) initiatives are quality-focused efforts designed to bring organizations and teams together to work on a shared improvement goal. Learn about current and past projects

Individual Member Focused Improvement

The OPTN developed Individual Member Focused Improvement (IMFI) to:

  • Help individual OPTN members improve through the use of quality improvement tools
  • Deliver custom-designed engagements that fit each member’s unique needs
  • Provide individualized improvement coaching to members

What you can expect

Collaborative research: UNOS Labs and SimUNet

UNOS Labs is a transformational collaborative research center that combines our industry expertise with data and technology to solve the most pressing challenges in the transplant system.

For donation and transplant professionals who want to increase transplant, SimUNet simulations offer a way to experiment with how different ways of displaying information (and how different types of information) can affect decision making.

Training and events

UNOS Connect for professional learning

UNOS Connect

Find educational offerings focusing on effective practices, system updates (UNetSM) and policy changes. Learn more about UNOS Connect.

Annual education events
  • UNOS Primer, held at UNOS headquarters, helps attendees learn UNOS’s functions and structures, how the member quality department assists OPTN members and facilitates the OPTN peer-review process, the OPTN policy development process and how to best use UNetSM applications.
  • Transplant Management Forum, or TMF, is an annual educational event to increase collaboration and grow your knowledge of operations, finances and strategies. Learn why transplant administrators find this annual conference so valuable.

Tools and data

Toolkits and resources

Find guidance documents, organ-specific policies, organ allocation calculators, and related educational resources.

Understand data for informed decisions

Performance improvement data tools for UNOS members

A suite of data and research analytic services to provide you the most accurate data you need for making decisions, meeting regulatory requirements, and having successful quality assurance and performance improvement initiatives.​

Tools for transplant hospitals

Tools for OPOs

Increase your efficiency

Helping more kidney patients, faster: Offer filters

New data analytics tools help hospitals understand acceptance patterns and refine them — so organs are transplanted faster. Learn about Offer Filters.

APIs: Seamlessly exchange data with DonorNet®, TIEDI® and WaitlistSM

Share vital data faster—no matter your job title or expertise with technology. We’re here to help. Learn about available APIs.

Collaboration and education news

TMF 2024 Heckenkemper Award Winner: Nancy Metzler honored

"We have the unique privilege as transplant administrators to support our team as they turn a tragedy into a miracle." Nancy Metzler The Annual Heckenkemper Leader in Transplant Administration / Quality Award (also known as the Heckenkemper Award) is given each year...

TMF 2024 presenter Andrea Tietjen, MBA, CPA, on transplant financing

"I have been attending TMF since 2000 and have learned all that I know from attendees and presenters. Transplantation and procurement are dynamic fields, and being in-the-know and learning from others is an invaluable resource. Our learnings have helped us to help our...

“It’s incredibly helpful to hear how other programs do things, because we’re not all the same, and we can all learn from how we do things differently.”

Heather Marshall

Quality Coordinator, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West in Nashville

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