AOPO's voluntary accreditation program uses standards that encompass all aspects of organ procurement organization (OPO) operations and practice. This peer review process assesses for compliance with the AOPO standards, and helps OPOs meet federal regulations as well.
The goal of the accreditation program is to assess the practices of Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) as being consistent with regulations and standards set forth by AOPO, government agencies and federal law, to uphold our tenets of maintaining public trust in donation, and honoring every Gift of Life and every donor to the fullest.
AOPO accreditation centers on the processes and systems the OPO uses to monitor employee performance and ensure that staff work within the established guidelines and regulations for their jobs. The accreditation process promotes ongoing performance improvement, provides continued education and training, and creates the opportunity to continue building upon current practices to lead to improved overall quality and outcomes.
The standards are developed by the Standards and Accreditation Committee, which oversees the accreditation program and writes and revises the Standards to incorporate changes that occur in practice and regulation. When the Committee has revised the Standards, they are shared with the AOPO membership for review and comment, then approved by the AOPO Executive Committee.
The standards encompass all aspects of OPO operations and practice. For every standard, there are Interpretive Guidelines that have been crafted to provide guidance and promote consistency in conducting accreditation surveys.
The standards include these areas:
• Human Resources
• Information Management
• Business Continuity
• Hospital Development
• Donor Family Services
• Public Education and Public Relations
• Community Affairs
• Quality Improvement
The Accreditation Process
Participation in the AOPO Accreditation Program is voluntary. The accreditation process includes a detailed on-site survey, desk audit, and information verification conducted by a team of 3 – 4 members of the Standards and Accreditation Committee. The surveyors are volunteers who are regarded as experts in OPO practices, and the teams are led by a core group of OPO-experienced contracted surveyors.
Following a survey, the findings are reported to the full Standards and Accreditation Committee. If the Committee approves the application for accreditation, the OPO is accredited for a period of three years. Re-accreditation is achieved by the same process of application and meeting the standards. Currently, 57 of 58 OPOs are accredited through this voluntary program.
“We had a very knowledgeable team that provided value to the improvement of our organization.”
“Very thorough and professional survey.”
“This team was extremely organized, comprehensive, thorough, and professional. We concluded this survey with the belief that we had just undertaken a solid external review of our policies and practices against industry standard. We received feedback both on areas for improvement and areas where we stand out amongst our peers. Thanks.”