A multidisciplinary organ donor council and performance improvement initiative can improve donation outcomes

Allen P. Kong, Cristobal Barrios, Ali Salim, Lynn Willis, Marianne E. Cinat, Matthew O. Dolich, Michael E. Lekawa, Darren J. Malinoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The shortage of organs available for transplantation has become a national crisis. The Department of Health and Human Services established performance benchmarks for timely notification, donation after cardiac death (DCD), and conversion rates (total donors/eligible deaths) to guide organ procurement organizations and donor hospitals in their attempts to increase the number of transplantable organs. In January 2007, an organ donor council (ODC) with an ongoing performance improvement case review process was created at a Level I trauma center. A critical care devastating brain injury protocol and a DCD policy were instituted. Best performance benchmarks were evaluated before and after establishment of the ODC. At our center, the total number of referrals increased from 96 in 2006 to 139 in 2007 and 143 in 2008. Timely notification rate increased from 64 per cent in 2006 to 83 per cent in 2007 and 2008 (P < 0.01). DCD rate increased from 0 per cent in 2006 to 13 per cent in 2007 (P = 0.06) and 10 per cent in 2008 (P = 0.09). Conversion rate increased from 53 per cent in 2007 to 78 per cent in 2008 (P = 0.05) and 73 per cent in 2009 (P = 0.16). Organs transplanted per eligible death trended upward from 1.80 in 2007 to 2.54 in 2009 (P = 0.20). As a consequence, the establishment of a multidisciplinary ODC and performance improvement initiative demonstrated improved donation outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1062
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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