How To Improve Communication Between OPOs and Transplant Centers

Organ transplant communication is like the cogs in a grandfather clock. Each mechanism can make the process more, or less, efficient. The same holds true for communication between OPOs and transplant centers.

Organ transplant has come so far. However, inefficient communication often delays or prevents more transplants from happening. From the time an OPO steps in to coordinate the transplant process until the procurement takes place, communication breakdowns take up time and increase the workload on already over-taxed teams.

Everyone involved in the transplant process - patients, transplant teams, and OPOs - need a better way to communicate to get patients get the organs they need to live and also for the sake of transplant and OPO teams. Team turnover and operational inefficiency are byproducts of poor communication that increases the team’s mental load and stress. 

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A few key steps can drastically streamline communication and decrease stress throughout the transplant process.

Send Organ Offers Straight to the Source

Communication between transplant centers and OPOs is often facilitated by call centers. To reach a transplant team, the OPO calls the call center who relays the message to the transplant coordinator who takes it to the surgeon. 

The surgeon may have questions about the organ, and to reach the OPO, they have to go back to the call center who contacts the OPO, gets the answer, and then relays it back to the transplant team. Each step in the process means more delays and more cold ischemia time for the organ in question. 

Adding to the delay is that for each eligible organ, the OPO may go through a similar process multiple times with multiple transplant centers. Donor coordinators find themselves repeating the same information and answering the same questions again and again.

A communication platform like TXP Chat allows donor coordinators to go straight to the transplant team and provide all the needed information at one time. Group chats categorized by UNOS number keep everyone on the transplant team in the loop with the exact information they need and direct access to ask questions and get more information.

To prevent distractions for the transplant surgeon, he or she can set notification preferences so notifications are only sent when the surgeon needs to be pulled in. This allows them to eliminate distractions and focus on other surgeries or their personal life.  

Think of it this way: even though OPOs and transplant centers are separate organizations, putting them in the same “virtual room” streamlines communication and helps them speed up the decision making process.

Create Consistency in the Decision Process

There’s a growing need nationally for standardization in the transplant process. For instance, each surgeon has different preferences when it comes to communication. One may like to receive information via phone. Others may prefer messaging or text. As a result, OPOs have to alter their communication based on which transplant surgeon they need to reach. This makes it difficult to relay information with speed and precision. 

To solve this problem TXP Chat provides organ procurement organizations with a single location for data transfer and communication. Linking all teams in a dedicated sharing platform means it becomes easier to capture all data to communicate quickly and consistently.

This type of communication platform reduces redundancy, unnecessary phone calls and forgotten or misplaced information. As a result, each member of the OPO and transplant team is able to perform their job more efficiently and spend less time trying to ask or answer questions and more time focused on other important tasks.

In addition, teams can develop consistent, standardized methods for starting the process of a new transplant. With a unified workflow, facilitated by a mobile app, teams can efficiently process information and make real-time decisions.

Coordinate Cross Matches for Patients Faster

When it comes to kidney transplants, preliminary blood tests help ensure transplant success. These tests can help eliminate organ waste by revealing if donor blood and recipient blood are compatible. 

Transplant teams, however, have limited time to coordinate these tests before an organ is no longer viable. TXP Chat enables transplant teams to organize these tests quickly and efficiently. With real time communication, each transplant team can know the status of the cross match within a short timeframe to be able to accept or reject an organ offer faster.

Schedule the Procurement OR Efficiently

Scheduling a procurement OR can also be difficult. Schedules from multiple transplant teams have to be considered. OPOs and multiple transplant teams have to go back and forth on organ status, transportation, and the actual procedure until they reach a consensus. 

By having all teams in the same chat, this typically complex process becomes easier and more efficient. For instance, if the transplant team experiences a delay, they can post that information on the group chat where the other teams can readjust schedules in real time.

Lives Depend on Efficient Communication

Patients, surgeons, donor coordinators, and transplant coordinators all need communication that speeds up the transplant process instead of slowing it down.

Have you started streamlining your transplant communication?

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