Watch Marcel Pincince, BA, STB, Manager, Donor Family and Advocate Services, DonorNetwork of Arizona explain hot and cold emotional states as they pertain to patient and family care, and communication and decision making in the donation setting.
We share your goals: we want to save lives, and we want to help families find comfort and meaning in a time of loss. The guidelines and procedures below provide a careful, respectful, step-by-step protocol for preserving your patient’s opportunity to donate.
If you find you have more questions that aren’t answered here, contact our Hospital Development team.
Donation can give hope to families—and provide assurance that a patient’s donation decision is honored.
Donation also gives you and your team the opportunity to save some of the 20 people who die every day waiting for a transplant. Without you, that opportunity can easily be lost. Saving a life through donation isn’t possible without an invested hospital care team.
Keep three things in mind to preserve your patient’s opportunity to donate:
This critical pathway provides a detailed, step-by-step description of the donation process after brain death.
This critical pathway provides a detailed, step-by-step description of the donation process after circulatory death.
We know that when families understand the good that can come from donation, they rarely say no. But donation information must be delivered in a respectful, time-sensitive manner—and with a unified approach and support from the care team and LifeCenter Northwest. We all owe that to the grieving family and to the thousands of people currently waiting for an organ, eye, or tissue transplant.
That’s why it’s so important to call LifeCenter Northwest (888-543-3287) before beginning the donation conversation with the family. You are knowledgeable about your hospital policy and your patient’s family and medical information, and we are experienced and confident with the donation process and working with donor families.
Together, we can work to help your patient’s family find comfort in a difficult time.
Who should be involved in the planning:
What should be determined:
When and where planning should occur:
Once you call LifeCenter Northwest, planning for the family conversation should be ongoing. Planning is most critical just before introducing the donation coordinators to the family. To be respectful, planning should take place away from the family, in a private space on the unit or near the nurse’s station.
The discussion surrounding organ and tissue donation is part of the continuum of care for a family walking through the process of losing their loved one. At LifeCenter Northwest, our focus is on making this discussion as supportive as possible for the family, and ensuring the patient’s wishes are honored. This discussion is a common pain point in the process, as there are many factors to take into account, including: timing, logistics, family dynamics, ethical considerations, and donor registry status.
CMS and The Joint Commission both require that this conversation must be initiated by the donation agency, and recommends that the care team and agency collaborate together to determine the best possible plan for each patient and family. When our teams work together to plan this conversation in advance, we know it’s better for the family, and significantly impacts the donation authorization rate for your hospital.
Administrators: Take an active interest in your hospital’s performance, including the Collaborative Request Rate. This is the measure of how often donation conversations are happening with your families in the most effective way possible, and something you may be asked about during site visits from CMS, TJC and the DOH.
Managers: Work with your designated Hospital Development Program Manager to provide education regarding the donation discussion to your department.
Bedside Staff: Proactively consider how you might talk about next steps with a family, without bringing up donation. We have some great suggestions to start with here.
Support Staff: When there is a death, or if you are aware of LCNW following a potential organ donor, help us remind those involved that the donation discussion needs to be planned with the donation agency prior to any mention to the family.
Call LifeCenter Northwest at 888-543-3287 before any family discussion of DNR, comfort care, or ventilator withdrawal, if your patient is: