Augusta, Ga. (Jan. 5, 2017) – AU Medical Center is one of just 19 hospitals in the United States – and the only medical center in Georgia – to be selected for a pilot program that aims to improve kidney transplantation nationwide.
As part of the three-year Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network project, AU Medical Center will participate in a study that seeks an alternative framework for measuring the quality of organ offer and acceptance, waitlist management, and care coordination. Data collection for the program, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Resources and Services Administration, begins in January.
“Nearly 100,000 Americans are currently waiting for a kidney transplant,” said Dr. Todd Merchen, Program Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at AU Medical Center. “It is a privilege to take part in the COIIN Program, which is designed to develop best practices that will be used to help patients here in Augusta, as well as, transplant centers across the country.”
Each pilot hospital will test improvements in successive, rapid 90-day improvement cycles and share data and lessons learned with other study participants on an interactive, virtual learning website. See a full list of hospitals chosen for the initial phase of COIIN.
“The hospitals participating in the pilot program have had success using kidneys that are not accepted as often by other transplant programs across the country,“ said Dr. David Klassen, chair of the COIIN Advisory Council and United Network for Organ Sharing’s Chief Medical Officer. “The practices they have found to be effective can be shared with others to increase the number of transplants nationwide.”
Nearly 2,500 lifesaving kidney and pancreas transplants have been performed at AU Medical Center since the program began in 1968. Since then, the medical center has twice been named a national Kidney Transplant Center of Excellence by HealthGrades, a hospital ratings organization.
AU Medical Center will soon double its capacity for transplant evaluations and care with a new $4.1 million kidney transplant clinic. Currently under construction in Professional Building 1 on the Health Sciences Campus of Augusta University, the new 14,000-square-foot multi-disciplinary clinic will consolidate exam rooms, lab services, an infusion room, a medical assistance program and an education library for transplant patients under one roof. The clinic is expected to open in May 2017.