Ambra Health Provides Instantaneous Access to Donor & Recipient Imaging for National Kidney Registry

Ambra Health provides instantaneous access to donor & recipient imaging saving 1,400 hours of coordinator time per year.


National Kidney Registry - Case StudyThe mission of the National Kidney Registry (NKR) is to save and improve the lives of people facing kidney failure by increasing the quality, speed, and number of living donor transplants in the world. With over 80 transplant centers, coordinators receive thousands of kidney CTs per year to help facilitate transplant matches.

However, it often takes well over 10 days for imaging to be sent from donor to transplant center, only to sometimes find that the donor’s imaging, which must be reviewed by both surgeon and radiologist, has an abnormality and is unsuitable. This can extend match times for patients waiting to receive a new kidney, or even cancel entire match chains involving as many as 10 patients. With Ambra Health, imaging can now be exchanged from referring hospitals in seconds, greatly speeding up the process and reducing the likelihood of having to cancel the match.

Ambra Health has become ‘the armored car’ of image transfer – securely moving them from donor hospital to transplant center.
Joe Sinacore, Director of Education and Development

Real-time Sharing of Imaging

Transplant center coordinators are tasked with receiving thousands of kidney CTs per year as part of the donor and recipient matching cycle. Both the surgeon and radiologist need to see imaging before conducting transplant surgery. The process of receiving imaging on CDs could take over 10 days, often delaying surgery and at times, canceling the match due to abnormalities found in the donor’s kidney or anatomy. With Ambra Health, imaging can now be uploaded online using the Web upload tool. Once in the Ambra platform, imaging is then pushed into PACS in real-time and easily shared across transplant centers through secure web-based links. Coordinators spent about three weeks uploading all historical imaging from CDs to Ambra. The switch has saved over 1,400 hours of coordinator time per year, which allows them to focus on matching donors and recipients rather than struggling with cumbersome logistics like shipping out and burning CDs.

Improving Patient Care

Up to 10 patients can be involved in a match process with good Samaritan donor donating to patient A who’s donating to patient B – the pay-it-forward model. When a match gets canceled, a whole month can be lost with finding a new match and surgeon/OR availability. Having imaging early in the process allows recipients to jump back into the pool much more quickly if there is a problem with their donor’s kidney.

“With Ambra Health, we expect to see a much lower canceled match rate.”
– Joe Sinacore, Director of Education and Development

Simplified Deployment

Ambra Health took just over a day to install and has been successfully up and running since. The SaaS-based structure allows coordinators to focus on successfully receiving imaging rather than being bogged down by IT infrastructure. On the donor record, there’s an upload button that launches the Ambra Web uploader. Imaging can then be uploaded from CD, or a facility can send imaging directly from on-site PACS through the Ambra gateway. Having software that was interoperable with other vendor systems was a key part of NKR’s evaluation. The donor record and recipient Patient Record has a link to a viewer as well as the Ambra download link so surgeons can pull imaging into a local workstation or the OR.

“If a recipient’s donor has any imaging abnormalities, it could be well over a month before they can find another match. Ambra Health helps to avoid any imaging surprises that could delay critical care. Surgeons have been very pleased with the technology.”
– Joe Sinacore, Director of Education and Development