Electronic Screening and Referrals Up and Running
In the previous issue of IIAM’s eJournal, we presented a progress report on the highly anticipated implementation of automated, electronic capabilities. These initiatives promised to improve the efficiency and accuracy of IIAM’s referral, screening and placement processes and enhance our service to our network of OPOs and researchers.
We are pleased to report that, as of December 2018, Electronic Screening and eReferrals and have been operational — greatly reducing the time IIAM staff spends talking on the phone and inputting data. Steven Sherer, IIAM Manager, and Lily Mathe, Supervisor of the Organ Placement Coordinators at IIAM, spearheaded these initiatives in collaboration with Statline, which, like IIAM, is a subsidiary of MTF Biologics.
eReferrals enable OPOs to input minimal referral data and send it directly to IIAM’s placement coordinators. This capability allows an OPO to bypass any wait time for new referrals, which is especially effective during high-volume call times. It also allows OPOs to make eReferrals from hospitals and other offsite locations and gives IIAM sufficient information to contact researchers. The feedback has been positive and, since its implementation, our partners have been making more and more electronic referrals.
To date, 46 of our 58 OPOs are using our eReferral capability. Jocelyn Phillips, Clinical Trainer for Southwest Transplant Alliance in Dallas, TX, said, “The IIAM Electronic Referral System for research organ offers has cut down on the amount of time we would spend on the phone making sure that all the information was given. With a few clicks, you are able to submit all information needed and give additional details as well.”
Electronic Screening of several common criteria (e.g., age, weight, smoking status, drug use, length of intubation) streamlines the process of matching organs and tissues to researchers’ standards. IIAM placement coordinators spend less time performing manual screening of criteria and can focus on a smaller set of researchers. Electronic screening also enables IIAM to accept more backup offers from OPOs.
“These process improvements position IIAM as having set the gold standard for organ allocation and screening for research placement.”
Gina Dunne Smith, Executive Director of IIAM, added, “By making the screening and referral process easier and more priority-sensitive, IIAM is enhancing the researcher-OPO relationship.”