For example, he says, it may mean that the echocardio lab clears its schedule one day a week to accommodate several patients. "A lot of times just talking with all the various parties, getting things mapped out in advance and planned is what's required," he says. Also, Colquhoun says the organization will be starting an ambassador program, in which previous patients will interact with new candidates and their families, and physically guide them to tests and visits.
Success key No. 3: Be a strategic list manager
List management innovation is essential to maintaining high-quality rankings. "If you think about the transplant as a business, what we're really involved in is the business of list management," says Montefiore's Kinkhabwala.
"We're in the business of getting people with organ failure and evaluating them to be put on a waiting list, and then maintaining their health on the waiting list until they get in a surgical operation, and then provide their aftercare." Because donors are allocated based on an organization's wait list, it's important to always be working on maximizing your list number, stresses Kinkhabwala. But, it's not merely as simple as having a larger wait list than other transplant centers. List management strategy involves a deep understanding of how organ allocation works.
In the not so distant past, some organizations would list every patient who came through the door regardless of of how sick they were or how long they would have to wait for a transplant, explains Kinkhabwala. The downside to this strategy, he notes, is that your list size balloons up, resulting in low transplant rates.