Organ Donation Process Needs To Be Improved

There remain too many barriers, both bureaucratic and societal, to addressing a growing need.

There’s been some success when it comes to organ donations for transplants, writes Diane Brockmeier, president of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations in an op-ed piece in the Hill. But despite the efforts of organ procurement organizations (OPOs), too many people die waiting for a life-saving donation. Of the over 3 million deaths in the United States each year, only about one half of 1% result in a donated organ, Brockmeier notes.

“The unfortunate truth is that even if every potential deceased donor’s organs were transplanted, there would still be people who die while waiting for an organ transplant,” Brockmeier writes.

But lack of organs isn’t the only obstacle. There are also problems with federal laws having to deal with the use of electronic medical records, and transplant center reimbursement and evaluation.

OPO representatives recently told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that ways to strengthen the organ donation system include “promoting use of organs from more complex donors, improving clinical support, aligning hospital reporting procedures to ensure more meaningful and accurate data and providing OPOs access to donor hospital health records,” writes Brockmeier.