National Test Identifies Barriers to Organ Donation

For health care providers, use of standard referral criteria lacking; differences ID'd for ER, ICU docs

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A national test of the Rapid Assessment of Hospital Procurement Barriers in Donation (RAPiD) has identified specific barriers to organ donation and patient referral, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Heather M. Traino, Ph.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and associates examined the assets and barriers in organ donation and patient referral processes by implementation of a national test of RAPiD. They also assessed the relationships between hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) using data from 70 hospitals with high donor potential and interviews with 2,358 health care providers (HCPs).

The researchers found that, among HCPs, donation attitudes and knowledge were high, but use of standard referral criteria was lacking. There were significant differences in the donation-related attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors of emergency department physicians and other staff when compared to their colleagues in intensive care units, where patients had high organ donor potential. OPO staff were generally viewed positively but were perceived as outsiders.

"This study suggests that continual quality improvement and stronger incorporation of the donor process into the fabric of hospitals may be necessary for noticeably improved performance to supply the nation's need for transplantable organs," the authors write. "Future reports will correlate HCPs attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors with donation outcomes (i.e., referral and consent rates) to determine the true impact of hospital environments on OPO performance."

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