How Can Hospitals Best Work With OPOs?
Organ and tissue donation cannot happen without support from hospitals and healthcare providers. Over 114,000 in the United States are waiting for a lifesaving organ at any given time, and your support saves lives. As an influencer within your hospital and/ or hospital system, you can champion the cause by creating a culture of donation.
The 10 C’s of Donation Success for Hospital Administrators
- Champion for the Cause: Consider establishing a donation champion program for invested staff to counsel and educate their peers, or a donation council to draw institutional attention to organ donation trends, successes, and areas for improvement.
- Commitment of Leadership: Does your hospital have a donation council? Are your leaders committed to supporting donation? How do you share your commitment with hospital staff?
- Culture of Priority for Organ Donation: Although a potential organ donor’s life is ending, they have the power to save as many as eight other lives. Referring patients who meet clinical triggers to your OPO could save multiple lives with one simple phone call.
- Collaborative Efforts Between OPO and Hospital Staff: Your OPO is your donation resource. Call on them to help support your staff as they identify potential donors. Consider holding case reviews after donation cases to share outcomes and identify successes and areas for potential process improvements.
- Communicate Rapidly: Make Referral Calls to OPO Within One Hour Early referrals save lives. Your timely referrals ensure screening is completed swiftly to determine if your patient is a candidate.
- Clinical Triggers for OPO Referral: Not every patient is a candidate. In fact, organ donation is an extremely rare gift that few are able to share. Specific clinical triggers from your OPO assure patients are appropriately referred based on their clinical picture.
- Conversion Rate Monitored and Improved: How many potential donors is your hospital converting to actual donors? This can be a great barometer for gauging the success of your donation culture.
- Counsel Potential Donor Families: OPO representatives, and in some cases, hospital-designated requestors are specially trained to approach potential donor families. Their expertise and compassion ensures families are aware of all their options, every step of the way.
- Clarify Policies and Procedures with Staff: If your staff is well informed on donation policies and procedures, they are more likely to make timely referrals. Consider including an OPO representative as a presenter in your new staff orientation or residency programs!
- Criteria Established for Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD): Successful Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD) cases rely on specific and clear criteria, processes and procedures. Is your hospital’s DCD Policy up to date?
Several regulatory agencies and hospital groups can help hospitals in their donation efforts, including your OPO, The Joint Commission, CMS, AHRQ and the NQF. The HRSA Workplace Partnership for Life’s Hospital Campaign is also a great way to raise awareness. For more information or to register as a Hospital Partner, visit organdonor.gov/awareness/workplace.html