What You Should Know:
Transplant Connect, a Los Angeles-based medical software company that has introduced innovative new technology known as iReferral, and Cerner Corporation announce their new collaboration to enable automated donor referrals.
– For years, matching transplant donors with those who need them has been a manual process that typically takes 20 to 30 minutes of healthcare workers making calls. Slowing this process are staffing shortages and overburdened intensive-care units during the COVID-19 pandemic.
– This new technology is designed to help increase and expedite potential organ, tissue and eye donor referrals to increase recipient matches, lessen missed opportunities for timely donation and reduce the number of hours caregivers spend on the donor referral process. This automation is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic as intensive-care units are overburdened.
Need for Transplants
U.S. hospitals are required to provide timely notification to its designated organ-procurement organization (OPO) of every potential organ, tissue and eye donor, as required by regulations from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services. The need for good donors is significant in the U.S., according to the Health Resources and Services Administration:
– Every 9 minutes, a person is added to the U.S. transplant waiting list
– More than 106,000 adults and children are currently on the list.
– About 39,000 transplants were performed in 2020 in the U.S.
– 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S.
Enabling Near Real-Time Donor Identification & Referral Process
Cerner Millennium EHR and Transplant Connect’s iReferral interface engine will integrate to allow a seamless and near real-time donor identification and referral process, delivering critical information from Cerner Millennium into the iTransplant Donor Management Platform, operated by Transplant Connect and utilized by organ-procurement organizations to manage their donor cases and facilitate donation and transplant. Through this process, a potential donor is identified and seamlessly referred to the organ-procurement organization via an electronic “organ donation order” where all pertinent information is sent to the organ-procurement organization’s iTransplant Donor Management System. The system then sends back a notification confirming the details have been received. This new automated process replaces the much more time-consuming and labor-intensive phone-based referral process and is designed to improve the efficiency of the organ donation workflow, thereby decreasing errors caused by manual data transfer and increasing the chances of a positive organ outcome.
Initially launched at five different hospitals, this new integration has the potential to make a substantial impact. According to Transplant Connect, its iTransplant Donor Management systems are utilized by 74% of all organ procurement organizations in the U.S. as well as in other countries, and approximately 4,500 of the just over 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. potentially refer organ, tissue and/or eye donors to these organ procurement organizations on the iTransplant Platform.
“Cerner’s initiative and commitment to this integration will help to drive the important paradigm shift away from inefficient, phone-based processes in favor of near real-time automation. Our success here stands to positively impact thousands of hospitals while improving and expediting critical steps in the donation process and increasing lives saved and healed through transplantation,” said Transplant Connect Founder and CEO John Piano.