Joe Roth, President & CEO of New Jersey Organ & Tissue Sharing Network, 01/26/2005
Joe Roth has witnessed multiple changes throughout his seven year tenure as president and CEO of the New Jersey Organ & Tissue Sharing Network. However, this year has been special as his OPO has seen record donation numbers in 2004 thanks in part to the government's successful Breakthrough Collaborative initiative.
The Sharing Network implemented many best practice initiatives early on, such as educating hospital staff on early "clinical triggers" on identifying potential donors. "This has resulted in more donor referrals and a significant increase in the referral rates from the low 80 percent range to the low 90 percent level," Roth said.
Along with utilizing best practices, the Sharing Network has also validated two in-house hospital coordinator positions; one at the University Hospital in Newark, the other at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. "This unique position has established a process whereby our hospital services managers started to take calls along with our transplant coordinators; creating a two-tier system," Roth stated. When a transplant coordinator visits the hospital site of the potential donor, the hospital services manager is notified and interacts with the coordinator on the donor case to help manage the process. This manager can work with other hospital staff if there is difficulty with the case flow, such as getting a cardiac cath or echocardiogram. With the hospital services manager concentrating on hospital staff and smoothing out the donation process, the transplant coordinator is able to focus on donor and donor family management.
The New Jersey Hospital Association board of directors recently recognized the success of the Collaborative's "spread" strategy and approved the creation of an organ donation task force. The multi-disciplinary task force brings the Sharing Network and the Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia, Pa., which serves southern New Jersey, with the hospital community to discuss donation issues and best practices and how to spread these within New Jersey. "This has been a phenomenal year for us. I only hope we can replicate it this year."