The kidney transplant (KT) waitlist has grown substantially, with more than 100,000 people currently waiting. Despite this, fewer than 18,000 undergo KT annually in the U.S. This has created a profound disparity between organ supply and demand, leading to unacceptable waitlist mortality. To address this disparity, many surgeons have increased utilization of suboptimal kidneys (SOKs), such as kidneys from elderly donors, donors after cardiac death (DCD), HCV infected donors, donors with prolonged cold ischemia times (CIT) and donors with elevated terminal creatinine. Although reports demonstrate acceptable outcomes with SOKs, utilization varies widely across the U.S. and organ discard rates remain alarmingly high. Between 2000-2013, approximately 31,000 (21%) procured kidneys were discarded. Aggressive utilization of discarded kidneys would have immediate and profound impact on annual KT rates. We previously explored nationwide utilization of SOKs, and defined the ?aggressive center phenotype?, identifying only a small number of transplant centers who more aggressively utilized SOKs to help their waitlisted patients achieve KT. We found that only a small number of centers aggressively utilized ALL types of SOKs. Instead, most centers selectively transplanted specific subtypes of SOKs, likely influenced by surgeon preference and center expertise. If transplant centers had a mechanism to gauge their SOK acceptance and post-transplant outcomes, in comparison to other centers, there may be broader utilization of SOKs. To date, no method exists to provide transplant centers with comparative feedback on SOK utilization and outcomes. Outside of the field of transplantation, numerous quality improvement interventions providing similar outcome feedback and inter-hospital comparisons, such as the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS ASQIP), have led to alterations in clinical practice and reductions in morbidity and mortality. Our scientific goal is to develop center-level aggressiveness report cards (ARC) that provide timely, accurate and easily interpretable feedback to surgeons responsible for organ acceptance. We hypothesize that feedback will alter surgeon behavior, leading to broader utilization of SOKs, increased KT, and decreased waitlist mortality.
There is profound disparity between organ supply and demand, leading to unacceptable waitlist mortality. To Aggressive utilization of the thousands of annually discarded kidneys would have immediate and profound impact on annual KT rates. Aggressive center report cards would provide transplant centers with timely, accurate and easily interpretable feedback on organ acceptance, discard and outcomes, leading to broader utilization of SOKs, increased KT, and decreased waitlist mortality.