All abstracts are organized by track and listed in alphabetical order by title.

Crushing Capitol Hill: Effective Lobbying Strategies for OPO Influencers



Salama Gallimore, Corporate Attorney and Lobbyist, Midwest Transplant Network


Diane Brockmeier, CEO, Mid-America Transplant

Lauren Brenner, General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Mid-America Transplant

Jan Finn, CEO, Midwest Transplant Network

Purpose: This year proved to be an action-packed year for OPOs across the country. At the center of the action was a broader organ sharing debate, but additionally, in each DSA numerous bills and resolutions which impacted organ donation, organ procurement and existing anatomical gift statutes were introduced in legislative houses. In our DSA, legislators proposed several positive resolutions in support of organ donation, the donor registry and National Donate Life month. However, legislators also introduced two bills which would chill first-person authorization and limit OPO staff members’ abilities to approach families in hospitals. We knew that we had to quickly prevent these harmful bills from being passed into law, and we worked to develop effective strategies to influence legislators and ultimately kill the bills. This presentation provides a summary of our effective lobbying strategies, several lessons learned along the way and proposes creative tactics we are excited to employ in the future.

Methods: First, we identified the lawmakers who introduced the bills and attempted to discuss our concerns with these legislators by phone and by sending personal letters. Second, we identified the committees to which the bills had been assigned and lobbied the committee chairs and committee members. Third, we visited the capitol the day before the committees held hearings on the bills to meet with committee members in person, explain our position and provide them with concise written talking points. Fourth, we identified an ally on the committee to whom we provided additional research and information to share with his fellow committee during the hearing. Fifth, we gathered stakeholders including an OPO CEO, OPO lobbyists, a transplant recipient and a family services coordinator to testify as witnesses at the hearing; these witnesses were prepped and provided with pre-drafted talking points.

Results: The main lesson we learned from our lobbying experience was the importance of relationships. The best way to effect legislative action is to have standing relationships with the local, state and federal lawmakers in your DSA, so that when a problematic bill is proposed, you have team of allies on whom you can rely to advocate on your behalf.

Conclusion: We have identified the following methods of building relationships with key legislators which we will expound on in more detail during our presentation: Meet legislators where they are – go to senate, house and council chambers to meet legislators and their staffers in person Do your research – identify areas of commonality and consensus as a starting point for discussion Open your doors – invite legislators to events in your offices so that they can have an inside look at your OPO and meet leadership Look for networking opportunities – Many hospital and healthcare organizations host legislative events and dinners which you can attend and establish relationships with legislators without having to plan an event Keep in contact – once you have established relationships, it is important to nurture them by sending check-in emails, connecting on LinkedIn, scheduling periodic phone calls and forwarding news articles and positive press about organ donation and OPO successes

Trading Hindsight for Foresight: A Patient Safety Initiative



Kerri Jones, Clinical Safety Director, New England Donor Services


Helen Nelson, Senior Vice President - Organ Donation Services, New England Donor Services

Purpose: Coordination of the recovery of an organ donor relies on effectively implemented safety nets which aid to protect recipients from adverse outcomes. Our OPO sought an answer for a better way to mitigate risk in accordance with our mission to create a culture of safety and to better serve recipients in providing safe organs for transplant. An opportunity was identified to implement a role within the organ division of our OPO that specifically focused on quality and patient safety.

Methods: The role of the Clinical Safety Director was established to work collaboratively across all departments in an effort to proactively identify potential risk and to mitigate those risks, to seek opportunity for improvements and to engage frontline staff in the identification of risk.

Results: The Clinical Safety Director proactively searches for opportunities to improve the organ donation process, to standardize clinical practices and create strong safety nets and systems designed to promote the safety of recipients and mitigate risks to the organization. The Clinical Safety Director works in collaboration with the Quality Department to conduct risk assessments of current process and safety nets to determine if there are potential unidentified risks that exist within a system. One such opportunity identified was the development of a safety net that would critically evaluate patients who have the potential to be at risk for blood typing inaccuracy due to multiple transfusions. After completing a risk assessment, an alert and algorithm were created within our electronic medical record system which assists in the safe transplantation of organs from a donor who has received large amounts of blood products. The Clinical Safety Director investigates critical quality events to identify potential system contributions and to help move the organization toward a Just Culture. Clinical Safety debriefings are coordinated with staff when a complex case with potential for multiple learning opportunities is identified. Through onsite observation, review of quality data and the engagement of staff, the Clinical Safety Director identifies areas of potential knowledge gap and coordinates with the Learning and Development department to close these gaps through training and education.

Conclusion: The Clinical Safety Director has proven to be a valuable role for our OPO, as well as an important service to recipients and their transplant programs. Our OPO has prioritized both patient safety and zero preventable events that resulted or could have resulted in a recipient adverse outcome as a high level organizational goal for the past 3 years. Our OPO is currently meeting this goal with zero adverse events for recipients in 2019. The addition of a clinical expert in the field of organ donation utilizing a role of quality within the organ division, has provided our OPO an additional resource to ensure that patient safety remains a priority across all departments and directives.

Utilizing the Four Disciplines of Execution to Obtain Results



Bailey Heiting, Manager, Organ Donation, Versiti, Organ and Tissue

Purpose: In our incredibly complex field, it can be easy to allow the flurry of day to day activities to impact our execution on longer term initiatives. At our OPO, we recognized we had the opportunity to develop a better process at staying consistent and achieving results on these strategic projects, without letting the daily whirlwind derail us. We felt that by implementing the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) methodology, we would be able to achieve stronger results on key initiatives. At the beginning of 2019, our goal was to utilize 4DX to increase our overall DCD donation rates from 12% to 20% by year end.

Methods: 4DX was implemented in our department in the first month of 2019. 4DX requires a goal setting process, in which the group identifies the critically important goal to be accomplished. In our group, that goal was increasing our declining DCD rate, which would lead to more lives saved, without compromising the number of BD donors. Once the goal was set, specific, predictive measures were identified that we felt by the completion of those, would allow us to achieve our goal. An example of these was changing our DCD rule-out criteria and moving away from the utilization of a predictor tool. Once these were outlined, weekly meetings were held, where key stakeholders created commitments and reported out on the previous week’s commitments. The commitments were entirely focused on this specific goal and consisted of activities that would move help us achieve it. These were outside the scope of the daily workload. This cadence held team members accountable to carving out designated time to focus on this initiative on a weekly basis. This also prevented team members from shifting focus away from this longer term project when donor case load or other time sensitive activities increased.

Results: As of December 1, our DCD donation rate is hovering around 23% for the year. We have consistently utilized the 4DX methodology throughout the year for this project and feel our success is a direct result of this.

Conclusion: We feel strongly that the implemented of the 4DX methodology has been instrumental in allowing our organization to achieve mission critical goals. This tool can be utilized for a variety of different projects or departments, which we have already begun. Our hope is to share this tool and the principles that build its foundation with others in the OPO community. We all face similar challenges with a demanding workload and an array of time sensitive issues that can easily derail longer term projects. We have seen firsthand success in this tool and feel others would greatly benefit from learning about it and applying its principles to help them achieve success in strategic organization goals.