A Pathology Department-Based Decedent Affairs Office Can Contribute to Improved Organ and Tissue Donation Services
CD Andry, C Kiriakos, D Martinez, L O'Connor. Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA; New England Organ Bank, Boston, MA
Background: Organ and tissue donation is championed by many stake-holders at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Recent changes in leadership resulted in necessary refocusing of the collaboration between BMC and the New England Organ Bank (NEOB). The pathology department-based decedent affairs office (DAO) was invited to participate as a liaison to the NEOB on behalf of the hospital. The mutually stated goals of BMC and the NEOB were to increase the hospital's donation rate to the national level. The aim of our present study is to report on DAO-supported process improvements for organ and tissue donation.
Design: In a 12 month period we adopted a multifaceted approach to raising awareness of the need to improve tissue and organ donation at BMC and the required steps to accomplish this. The NEOB coordinator provided a dashboard for data collection, continuing education and leadership. The DAO liaison communicated with executive administrators (BMC and NEOB), physician, nursing and support staff. Department and committee minutes were reviewed to determine activity and provide statistics.
Results: Results illustrating DAO contributions to improvements for tissue donation include: a tissue donor conversion rate from 11 to19% (n=246); timeliness of referral (within 1 hr of death) from 31 to 47%; availability of next-of-kin information from 84 to 87%; availability of blood sample for tissue typing from 91 to 94%. Furthermore, in collaboration with nursing leadership, access to operating rooms for tissue recovery was set at 100%. Contributions to improved organ procurement include: establishment of the Steven Laramee Organ and Tissue Donation Committee; quarterly dash-board reporting to nursing, critical care and emergency department executive committees; revision of hospital policies for organ and tissue donation and, continuing education for hospital staff.
Conclusions: The DAO contributed to improved communication between BMC and the NEOB. Tissue donor conversion rates have grown. There exists an opportunity for pathology departments to play an active role in improving organ and tissue procurement. While serving as a liaison to organ and tissue procurement organizations does not normally lie within the purview of a pathology department, an active DAO is uniquely positioned to expand its role beyond the standard boundaries of pathology services, in the context of broader hospital administration.
Monday, March 9, 2009 8:15 AM
Platform Session: Section H1, Monday Morning