In-house coordinator programs improve conversion rates for organ donation

Ali Salim, Cherisse Berry, Eric J. Ley, Danielle Schulman, Chirag Desai, Sonia Navarro, Darren Malinoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: The organ supply shortage continues to be a public health care crisis, with nearly 20 people dying each day awaiting transplantation. Inability to obtain consent remains one of the major obstacles to converting potential donors into organ donors. We hypothesize that the presence of in-house coordinators (IHCs) from organ procurement organizations (OPOs) will improve organ donor conversion rates. METHODS:: This retrospective review analyzed the effect of an IHC program on organ donation outcome. Referrals for possible organ donation from three IHC programs to regional organ procurement organizations were included. Data regarding organ donation demographics and outcomes were compared before (Pre-IHC) and after (Post-IHC) the establishment of an IHC program. The main outcome measures were conversion and family decline rates. The conversion rate was calculated as the number of actual donors divided by the number of eligible deaths and is represented as a percentage. The IHC functioned to assess for potential donors, ensure timely referrals, provide hospital staff education, assist with family consent and donor management, and provide family support. RESULTS:: Post-IHC was associated with a significantly lower family decline rate (6% vs. 18%, p < 0.001), a significantly higher consent for research rate (8% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.001), and a significantly higher conversion rate (77% vs. 63%, p = 0.007) compared with Pre-IHC. In addition, a significant increase in referralsper day (0.35 vs. 0.27, p < 0.05) and organs transplanted per eligible death were noted Post-IHC. CONCLUSION:: The presence of an IHC program significantly improves conversion rates for organ donation as well as organ yield. An IHC program should be considered as a viable option to bridge the gap between organ supply and organ demand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-736
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Donor management
  • In-house coordinator
  • Organ donor
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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