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Pre-implementation notice: Removing DSA from thoracic allocation system

Pre-implementation notice: Removing DSA from thoracic allocation system


Heart transplant program directors, surgeons, physicians, administrators, clinical coordinators and data coordinators; compliance and quality managers; clinical support staff; OPO executive directors and procurement directors/managers

Implementation date:

January 9, 2020

 Overview of Changes

On Thursday, Jan. 9, several OPTN policy updates will be implemented to eliminate the use of donation service areas (DSAs) from heart transplantation and replace them with a 250 nautical mile circle.  Additionally, the term “zone” will be removed from thoracic (heart and lung) allocation policies and replaced with the actual distances in nautical miles between donor hospital and transplant hospitals where candidates are listed.   (Previous policy action in 2017 removed DSA from lung allocation).  An additional changes will remove current policy language regarding prioritization of sensitized candidates within a DSA.

All of the policy updates are included in this policy notice, reflecting actions the OPTN Board of Directors approved at its June, 2019 meeting. 

System Implementation Information

To implement these changes, the UNOS Secure EnterpriseSM system, which includes UNetSM and other transplant applications such as WaitlistSM, DonorNet®, TIEDI® and KPDSM, will be unavailable on Thursday, Jan. 9, from 7:00 a.m. until approximately 7:30 a.m. EST.

The policy changes do not affect definitions of “local” thoracic candidates used in:

  • donor acceptance criteria within Waitlist
  • contact management within DonorNet
  • notification limits for organ offers

Review processes described in the OPTN Member Evaluation Plan are not affected by any of these updates.

Resource information

  • A resource document, “Thoracic Allocation Using Nautical Miles,” is available in UNOS Connect from the Heart category of the course catalog, offering HRT105-D
  • Online help documentation covering UNetSM functionality will be available when the system updates go into effect. Access Secure Enterprise and then choose Waitlist. On the Help menu, click Waitlist Help. You may search for a specific help topic or use the table of contents to assist with your search.

If you have questions about the implemented updates, contact UNOS Customer Service at 800-978-4334.  For policy-related questions, send an e-mail to [email protected].

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