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Nevada Donor Network declared a member not in good standing

Published on: Saturday, July 9, 2011

Richmond, Va. -- At its board meeting June 28 and 29, the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors declared Nevada Donor Network to be a "Member Not in Good Standing." As established in OPTN Bylaws, the Member Not in Good Standing designation is intended to provide public notice of an OPTN member that has committed a serious violation of OPTN policies or by-laws or has demonstrated a serious lapse in patient safety or quality of care.

"This finding is the result of a series of site reviews and discussions with peers in the field of organ donation," said OPTN president Charles Alexander, RN, M.S.N., M.B.A. "While there is not a specific sentinel event that has led to this designation, we have identified concerns in clinical and operational practices that have led us to this decision. We are working cooperatively with Nevada Donor Network and have offered peer-level guidance to assist them in improving their processes to best serve the needs of potential donors in the state of Nevada and the transplant candidates who benefit from organ donation."

As a result of this action, Nevada Donor Network will be required to provide the OPTN quarterly updates on progress of a detailed corrective action plan to address the outstanding issues of concern. It will also undergo enhanced monitoring of its activities and outcomes, including OPTN reviews of data and onsite visits (announced or unannounced) by UNOS staff and/or peer visitors representing the transplant profession. Nevada Donor Network will also be suspended from voting as an institution on OPTN matters, and no one associated with the institution may serve on the OPTN Board of Directors or OPTN committees.

Nevada Donor Network must remain in this status for at least one year. If it demonstrates needed improvements to the satisfaction of the OPTN/UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee (MPSC) and the Board of Directors, the institution might be placed on Probation (also requiring public notice) for a period of time before becoming a member in good standing. Public notice would be given for full status reinstatement, just as it is for Probation or Member Not in Good Standing.

Summary of Events

UNOS staff conducted four OPTN compliance surveys at Nevada Donor Network between November 2008 and December 2010. These included two onsite surveys by UNOS staff, a desk survey by UNOS staff, and a peer visit conducted by two organ donation professionals, assisted by UNOS staff. In response to these issues, the MPSC undertook a systematic due process review, which included an interview with representatives of Nevada Donor Network on March 11, 2011. The MPSC recommended Nevada Donor Network to be designated OPTN Member Not in Good Standing. As part of its regularly scheduled June 2011 meeting, the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors approved the MPSC's recommendation. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is operated under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy.