Changing Lives Through Organ Donation
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SPOTLIGHT ON EDUCATION: Learning How to Best Introduce the Topic of Donation Requires Collaboration

A collaborative is underway between FLDRN and five ICUs at Strong Memorial and Upstate University to standardize the donation approach process and ensure discussions about organ donation are a routine part of end-of-life decision making.

Discussion about organ, eye and tissue donation

Discussing organ, eye and tissue donation with families of potential donors requires planning between OPO and hospital staff.
(The photo is representation only.)

The study was initiated following a downturn in the number of families consenting to organ donation.

Important Facts Regarding Requests for Donation:

  • FLDRN is the designated requestor for donation.
  • Should hospital personnel feel that the appropriate time has come to discuss donation with the patient’s family, contact FLDRN first so that we may collaborate in the process.

Collaboration Methodology:

The PDSA Process

How the PDSA Process Works:

PDSA is shorthand for:

  • Develop a plan to test the change (Plan)
  • Carry out the test (Do)
  • Observe and learn from the consequences (Study)
  • Determine what modifications should be made to the test (Act)

The Title of This PDSA:

“Collaborative Approach Process”

PDSA Collaborative Approach Process Participants:

  • FLDRN will be working with hospital representatives inclusive of physicians, nurses, social workers, palliative care and spiritual care from both Strong Memorial and Upstate University Hospitals.
  • Units participating in the collaborative, as well as updates on the PDSA will be announced in the next emailing of Partners.
  • The practice of the “Pre-Approach Huddle” with FLDRN and hospital staff will be emphasized as a pertinent step in the process.

Overview of the PDSA:

  • The PDSA will begin by sharing and collecting insight from participants regarding end-of-life discussions with families.
  • Teams will develop tools and practices that that will standardize the process of integrating the hospitals’ end-of-life discussions with families into FLDRN’s approach to families about the option of donation.
  • One important tool that will be provided to hospital staff are simplified statements that will help with the transition from families coming to terms with their loved-ones’ condition to FLDRN’s conversations with them about donation.
  • The practice of the “Pre-Approach Huddle” with FLDRN and hospital staff will be emphasized as a pertinent step in the process.
  • Monthly reviews and meetings will take place between Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and participating units to review the effectiveness of the tools and practices and make any necessary adjustments.

After the Study Is Complete:

Once the study’s outcomes are reviewed and if results are favorable, Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network will roll out the standardized approach process to all of its hospitals in its Donation Service Area.  This will be done through in-services and online education materials.


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  • © Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, Corporate Woods of Brighton, Building 30, Suite 220, Rochester, NY 14623 (800) 810-5494