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From CMS and HRSA: A call to action to improve kidney transplantation through participation in the ETC Learning Collaborative (ETCLC)

Nov 21, 2023, 12:28 PM by Anna Shults

CMS and HRSA are asking all Medical and Surgical Directors to lead improvement efforts, actively participate, and guide work at the local level to ensure the ETCLC National Aims for kidney transplantation are met. 


Here is where your participation is critical: 

Your support of team members participating in quality improvement efforts is critical. The End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices Learning Collaborative (ETCLC) kidney community partners will continue to collaborate during national Pacing Events and Case Studies. They share best practices, proven processes, and steps to shift cultures. Expanded Quality Improvement Teams meet monthly to discuss high-performing organizations and promote the increased use of SRTR data to highlight surgical practice patterns and acceptance patterns. Embracing and adopting these practices in your organization will drive change in transplantation. 

Here are actions you can lead and support: 

  • Establish monthly or quarterly waitlist management processes that engage patients. (TxC)
  • Use UNOS Organ Offer Filters, based on acceptance criteria, local practice, and historical data review. (TxC)
  • Educate patients proactively, including the option to accept a "Better Than Dialysis" kidney, to ensure transplant readiness. (TxC)
  • Expand and use interdisciplinary councils. (DH)
  • Acceptance Rate Performance
  • Conduct near real-time, after-action reviews of turned­down kidneys to assess if process changes are needed to accept these organs in the future. (OPO, DH, TxC)
  • Use accurately interpreted biopsies to rule in acceptance and decrease cold ischemic time (CIT).
    (OPO, TxC)
  • Expand and build collaborative relationships with transplant centers, donor hospitals, and organ procurement organizations. (OPO, DH, TxC)

Finally, ETCLC will begin sending Transplant Centers Reports quarterly to transplant center leadership; the first reports were emailed in December 2022. You and your transplant team can use these reports to set quality goals and targets, identify opportunities for improvement, and track progress to increase capacity. 

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