eReferral Updates Continue to Reduce OPO Wait Times

Based on suggestions from our partners, IIAM has continued to make system upgrades that improve our entire referral process — the latest of which enables any referring OPO to update referrals electronically.

Previously, once a referral was submitted electronically, any follow-up offers or informational updates had to be called in, possibly subjecting the caller to queue time at our Triage call-center before speaking with a Placement Coordinator. Now, regardless of how the referral was entered into our system (eReferral or called-in), any OPO member can use the IIAM website to submit electronic information updates on an existing case.

“Using the text-only feature, OPOs can notify our Placement Coordinator team in real time so that the message shows up as an alert in our electronic donor record, where it is acknowledged by our team,” said Steven Sherer, IIAM Manager. “For several scenarios, this new capability bypasses the need for a phone call.”

Ongoing feedback from our partners enables us to continually enhance our eReferral system in ways that save OPOs time. In mid-2019, updates to our offer entry process allow users to copy donor and recovery-related information from one organ to the next within the same UNOS ID offer. Initially, all questions needed to be addressed for each organ, but now they can be copied automatically from one organ to the next, allowing editing as desired.

Data on solid organ offers from January through December demonstrate the growing use and effectiveness of eReferral:

  • Primary offers: 23,071
  • Backup offers: 22,173
  • Total offers: 45,244
  • Offers from eReferral: 43%
  • OPOs using eReferral: 48 (83%)

In response to this growth, IIAM expanded its team of Placement Coordinators from nine to 12 members in 2019. Since the beginning of this year, we hired three additional PCs and promoted Brian Bush to the position of Team Leader.

On the horizon, IIAM is developing a “Recovery Protocol Linking” capability, which will add efficiency and accuracy to the process of screening donations for research. IIAM partners with about 150 researchers, and each one has specific protocols, which can vary from organ to organ. “Currently, those protocols can be accessed in separate systems,” said Sherer, “By linking all of these protocols within one system, the time needed to obtain them will be reduced, and the chance of human error will decrease — especially during busy referral periods.”

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