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Maimonides Medical Center improves organ donation

Nearly 9,000 New Yorkers are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and approximately 500 of these individuals will die before a donor becomes available. In 2017, Maimonides Medical Center began a program to strengthen organ donation metrics at the facility and improve outcomes.

One major obstacle Maimonides identified to improving organ donation was a lack of specific accountability on the part of organ procurement organizations and hospitals to improve these quality metrics. Using techniques from leadership, operations management and organizational behavior, staff hypothesized that the creation and implementation of a collaborative leadership dyad between the OPO and hospital would improve outcomes. In May 2017, the director of adult critical care was designated as the liaison for all issues related to organ donation for the medical center. Concomitantly, the OPO created a similar functional position. This leadership dyad facilitated implementation of an institutional donor council, community outreach events and physician educational opportunities. Physician education consisted of in-person instruction every six months, as well as a mandatory annual online module. Live education was collaborative between LiveOnNY and the local physician champion.

As a result, organ referrals increased 34% from 142 in 2017 to 190 in 2019. Average consent rate more than doubled from 14% in 2017 to 29% in 2019 and total organ donors per year increased 267% from three in 2017 to 11 in 2019.

For more information, contact Richard Savel, MD, director, adult critical care services, at rsavel@maimonidesmed.org or 718.283.7991.