Transplants are a vital part of saving the lives of thousands of needy patients throughout the world, and fortunately here in the U.S UNOS has developed with the Federal Government a pretty good system to ensure this happens fairly and efficiently. In 2006, UNOS launched DonorNetSM, an integrated part of UNet (centralized computer network), to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the organ placement process. DonorNet is a central electronic environment in which organ procurement coordinators send out offers of newly donated organs to transplant hospitals with compatible candidates. Prior to DonorNet’s completion, the community relied upon faxes and numerous phone calls to exchange large amounts of clinical and biologic information to make matches and distribute donated organs. Because organ offers can now be made to multiple transplant centers simultaneously, organs can be matched and placed more efficiently.
But there is still one big problem that remains. Someone has to be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to take these offers (via phone call + computer login) regardless of the latest technology to help. Since the surgeons are the ones who make the final yes or no decision to accept or decline of an organ many times this creates very unhappy and tired staff. Secondly, when you have a coordinator or staff member that is taking Donornet organ coverage you never really are 100% certain that each call is really being picked up, therefore the possibility exists that organ offers are being missed.
That’s where organ offer management services were developed to help alleviate this burden. Transplant Coordinators of America realized that this flaw in the system still exists, and coined the title and service “organ offer management”. Prior to Transplant Coordinators of America this service didn’t exist. At TCOA it is their mission to help transplant facilities get back to the job at hand and that is to save lives through transplants.
TCOA relieves the facility of extra staff, and wasted administrative tasks by servicing the Donornet call coverage on behalf of the transplant hospital and pre-screening the organs for the surgeons. Many transplant facilities have realized they can save money and time by contracting with TCOA and reduce the need for staffing people to take these calls. Furthermore, the TCOA staff makes sure to implement the surgeons’ preferences into their service. Dr. Robert Fisher (Professor of Surgery at VCU) states: “TCOA proved to be the most efficient, ethical, and responsible answer to our organ program.The level of service has been so superior to our previous system that it has allowed us to re-focus our efforts back on our transplant program and less on business, and over-site”.
The team at TCOA is knowledgeable about the transplant process, factors dictating prospective good organs, thus allowing the doctors to get more rest and personal time without being required to be contacted with every offer. If your facility finds itself in need of help with Donornet call coverage please contact us.