The Alliance

Spotlight Series

The Alliance Spotlight Series is a recurring one-page publication for front-line healthcare professionals, offering quick-takes on critical topics affecting the field of organ donation and transplantation. We encourage you to download these issues and share them with your front-line colleagues and partners.

Spotlight Series Past Issues

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Volume VIII ,
Issue 1
Business Benchmarking Benchmark Measure Company Performance
Despite significant increases in organ donation, leading to more than 40,000 organs being transplanted for the first time in 2021, the community of practice continuously strives to drive greater outcomes. In order to accomplish this, healthcare professionals must have a practical evaluation of metrics to assess the process and outcomes.

Performance Measures: Moving from the Past to the Future

Past Measures

From 2003-2006, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) sponsored and led a series of Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaboratives. The aim was to save or enhance thousands of lives a year by spreading known best practices to the nation’s largest hospitals to achieve donation rates of 75 percent or higher. Several measurable goals were identified.  Hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) who met one or more of the following three goals were recognized by HRSA:

  1. 75% Conversion Rate
  2. 10% Donation after Circulatory Death
  3. 3.75 Organs Transplanted per Donor

Since then, donation performance has been measured against these metrics. The efforts of the collaborative were highly successful, resulting in a significant increase in donation and transplantation over the past years.

Recent Changes

The donation and transplantation community continues to address the growing organ waitlist across the country. In November 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule which updated the Conditions for Coverage for OPOs. This change requires OPO’s performance to be measured by two new criteria:

  1. Donation rate measure
  2. Transplantation rate measure

Each OPO’s performance is benchmarked against other OPOs in the US. These organizations will be encouraged to meet donation and transplantation rates that were established from the previous 12-month period as the lowest rates of the top 25 percent of OPOs.

A Look to the Near Future

CMS will implement the new measures on August 1, 2022, which will initiate the enforcement of the new measures in the 2026 OPO certification cycle. These new measures will likely also impact hospital organ donation performance measures. It is likely that hospitals will begin to see revisions and redesigns in the data reported and presented to them by their OPO.

Strategies for Increasing Donation and Transplantation

While the measures are changing, hospitals, OPOs and transplant programs remain focused on seeking innovative and effective strategies to increase donation and transplantation. Reviewing the key strategies and the corresponding successful practices in a “Community of Practice Action Guide” (2011) provides valuable guidance for improvement.

The identified strategies for success are:

  1. Unrelenting Focus on Change, Improvement & Results
    • Establish a strong culture of accountability for results
    • Establish an active leadership & management support
    • Integrate honoring donor designation into the goals of the organization.
  2. Linkage
    • Establish protocols to honor donor designation every time.
    • Utilize opportunities to recognize donors (donor flag, memorial areas.)
    • Support donor families in real-time.
  3. Integrated Donation Process Management
    • Catastrophic Brain Injury Guidelines (CBIG)
    • Advocate donation as the mission
    • Education
  4. Aggressive Pursuit of Every Donation Opportunity
    • Advocate for donation
    • Develop a Community of Practice Communication
  5. Intent – A culture of accountability for high yield (E/O/T every time)
    • Culture: A community of practice in which all participants “walk the talk” the mission of achieving high procurement and transplant rates
    • Empowering Infrastructure: Develop effective governance structures across the donation system
  6. Effective Relationships – A rapid response network responsible for donor management, organ recovery, and placement
    • Cultivating Commitment
    • Motivating Results
  7. Advanced Practice – Accountability for aggressive clinical care of the potential donor, the donor, and all eyes, organs and tissues
    • Intensive Patient Care
    • Identify and deploy advanced critical practice expertise for advanced clinical donor management, aggressive organ acceptance and recover

A Special Thanks to This Series’ Contributors

Hedi Aguiar
Hedi Aguiar
Program Consultant
Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance
DD6A2041 JD Edited
About the Editor |
Corey Bryant

Corey Bryant leads The Alliance’s communications, marketing and strategic efforts for unique national events, programming, partnerships and business development. With extensive corporate and non-profit experience, Corey has served in communications and public relations roles for Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Cruise Line and TransLife (now OurLegacy), the OPO serving East Central Florida. He has also been an active board member of Donate Life Florida, having served as state team leader for Driver License Outreach. Corey is a proud alum of The University of Alabama and serves on the board of directors for Come Out With Pride Orlando as well as Five Horizons Health Services, a not-for-profit organization providing access to progressive HIV testing, prevention and LGBT+ focused healthcare throughout West Alabama and East Mississippi.

Deanna Fenton
About the Editor |
Deanna Fenton

Deanna is a knowledgeable and versatile professional with diverse experiences in healthcare, client relations, marketing, project management and demonstrated skills in leadership and advocacy. Prior to joining The Alliance, she worked in Hospital Development at her local OPO in the state of New Jersey where she served as the clinical liaison to a number of Level 1 Trauma & Neuroscience centers as well as community hospitals. Her personal connection as a donor family and friend fuels her passion to support her colleagues across the donation-transplantation continuum through the development of valuable educational resources that ultimately boost performance and improve outcome measures. Deanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor degree in Public Health from Montclair State University. In her spare time, Deanna enjoys visiting vineyards, spending time with her family, and traveling in hopes of visiting all seven wonders of the world.

Advancing All.

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