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Collaborative Improvement Projects

OPTN collaborative improvement brings the donation and transplantation community together.

Learn what projects are already underway and what collaboratives are in development.

Did you miss a past collaborative?
Scroll down to find resources and supporting materials, and take the shared learnings back to your organization.

Need more information?
Please contact ci@unos.org with questions about any collaborative projects.

Current projects

Project aim: To support efforts to increase the transplantation of donation after circulatory death (DCD) lungs by identifying and sharing effective practices.

The volume of DCD lung transplants performed in the U.S. varies among programs, even while data indicates that DCD lungs can be transplanted with favorable outcomes, and while organ procurement organizations (OPOs) continue to recover DCD donors at increasing rates. This collaborative improvement project seeks to address this variation in practice.

This project also aims to foster improvement efforts via a collaborative framework, and encourage organizational learning and community sharing to drive improvement. The collaborative will involve eight months of active participant engagement. During successive four-month periods, participants will focus their performance improvement efforts on internal and external change concepts involving optimizing internal transplant processes and patient care practices and strengthening collaboration with OPOs.

Project updates

Project Resources

View recordings of sessions from the Learning Congress in the OPTN Learning Management System (known as UNOS Connect).

Search for the OPTN DCD Lung Transplant Collaborative Learning Congress Playlist – CEPTCs available

The modules have information about:

  • Strategies to Increase DCD Lung Transplantation
  • Transplant Program and OPO Collaboration
  • Key Insights and Shared Purpose
  • And more

Project aim: To support system efficiencies by addressing and improving offer acceptance processes and increasing offer acceptance rates through sharing of effective practices.

The processes involved in accepting organ offers are integral to the transplant system and to saving lives, but organ offer acceptance rates vary across the U.S. A recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) notes this variation in acceptance practices and sees offer acceptance as a key area for improvement.

This project aims to foster improvement efforts via a collaborative framework, and encourage organizational learning and community sharing to drive improvement. Participant engagement will begin with a project kickoff to provide education on improvement topics and resources, as well as information about the offer acceptance rate ratio performance monitoring metric. Participants will then embark on six months of improvement focused on optimizing responses to organ offers, performing retrospective reviews, and revising and defining acceptance criteria.

Project updates

Additional details

Project Resources

Recorded presentations from the hybrid kickoff event are available in the OPTN Learning Management System (known as UNOS Connect) and offer access to a range of thought leadership on system performance.

Search for the OPTN Offer Acceptance Collaborative Playlist – CEPTCs available

The modules have information about:

  • MPSC transplant program performance monitoring, the offer acceptance rate ratio, and OPTN tools to drive improvement.
  • Effective practices related to offer acceptance and hear lessons learned from previous collaborative participants.

Additional resources are in development.

Upcoming projects

New projects are in development. Check back for details as they become available.

Past projects

Project aim: To support efforts to increase deceased donor organs available for transplant by identifying and sharing effective practices regarding approaches to donation after circulatory death (DCD) procurement.

This project involved two successive cohorts of organ procurement organizations (OPOs), and concluded with a 2021 Learning Congress that was open to the entire OPO community.

Project updates

Project resources

  • Improvement Guide
  • Executive Report (Last updated July 2023)
  • 2022 Learning Congress Summary
    • View recordings of sessions from the 2022 DCD Procurement Learning Congress in the OPTN Learning Management System (known as UNOS Connect
      • QLT156: Collaborative Project Highlights and one OPO’s DCD Improvement Strategies (1.25 CEPTCs)
      • QLT157: Optimizing Clinical Practices and Staffing Structures (.5 CEPTCs)
      • QLT158: Strengthening Hospital and Transplant Program Relationships (.75 CEPTCs)
      • QLT159: Enhancing the Process for Obtaining Authorizations (1 CEPTC)
      • QLT160: OPTN DCD Procurement Case Studies (1.25 CEPTCs)

Project aim: To help pediatric liver programs address three main areas identified as opportunities for improvement: pre-transplant management, split-liver transplantation and living donor transplantation.

Specific programs were invited to participate in this collaborative, which took place virtually during the COVID pandemic and concluded with an online Learning Congress.

Project updates

Impact stories

Project resources

  • View a recording of the 2021 Pediatric Learning Congress in the OPTN Learning Management System (known as UNOS Connect)
    • PED104: 2021 Pediatric Liver Learning Congress (4.0 CEPTCs)

Project aim: To allow OPTN members to engage on topics specific to donation and transplant during COVID-19.

The global pandemic brought unique challenges to some of the standard processes and practices related to organ recovery and transplantation. The project operated on a secure online communication platform and allowed donation and transplant professionals to collaboratively discuss, organize, catalog and archive the learnings and insights developed during the 2020 pandemic.

Project aim: To promote performance improvement and effective practices through collaboration. A project sub-aim was to reduce risk-avoidance behaviors.

This three-year pilot studied an alternative approach to transplant program performance monitoring, and aimed to increase transplantation of moderate-to-high KDPI kidneys.

Impact stories

News