New website makes it easier for patients to choose transplant center

A new website developed by researchers at Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) and the University of Minnesota (UMN) is making it easier for organ transplant candidates to choose which transplant center is right for them.

The website, transplantcentersearch.org, was developed for candidates seeking kidney, liver, heart and lung transplants. Data for liver centers is currently live. Data for other organs will soon be available.

In order for patients to join a waiting list for an organ transplant they must complete an evaluation at a transplant center. Different transplant centers have different criteria for candidates. For example, some centers are more likely to accept an older candidate. They also have different waiting times and outcomes. Patients can use the website to see how many transplant recipients at any US center have characteristics like themselves."

Cory Schaffhausen, Ph.D., first author

This personalized decision guide uses information about the patient's donor type and medical profile to match factors important to the individual. It uses data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, a national transplant registry operated by HHRI under contract from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Schaffhausen recently published an article about the new tool entitled "Tool to Aid Patients in Selecting a Liver Transplant Center," in the March issue of Liver Transplantation journal. This article is featured on the front cover of the journal. The Principal Investigator and senior author on the project is Ajay Israni, MD, MS and other researchers and co-author include Warren McKinney, PhD at HHRI. The HHRI team is also working with multiple collaborators at UMN.

This website was created as part of a research study funded with a federal grant by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). User feedback about the site will be an important part of this research study, and will be used to make updates and improvements in the future.

Source:
Journal reference:

Schaffhausen, C.R., et al. (2020) Tool to Aid Patients in Selecting a Liver Transplant Center. Liver Transplantation. doi.org/10.1002/lt.25715.

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