Gift Of Life Michigan

Accelerating the Donor Organ Matching Process Through Instant Medical Image Sharing

Gift of Life Michigan is a federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) that facilitates the transplant of close to 800 organs each year. When an organ is available for transplant, a donation coordinator travels to the hospital, gathers the organ and other relevant data, and enters it into UNet, an online database maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing
that links OPOs to transplant surgeons across the country to facilitate a match. Medical images were not available with other data in the system, which slowed the transplant process.

The Challenge

Gift of Life needed a fast, easy way to get medical images to transplant surgeons.

• Imaging CDs and VPNs not feasible means for organ procurement and transplant cases

• In some cases, surgeons had no choice but to take expensive, time-consuming flights to determine organ viability

• Existing UNet workflow connects stakeholders to all needed data, except imaging

“The images have been easily accessible and of high quality. That is crucial for us to fulfill our mission of saving and improving lives through donation and transplantation.”

Paul Lange, MD, Medical Director

The Solution

Providing Gift of Life donation coordinators with accounts on the Life Image network allows them to share images with UNet users.

• Coordinators upload diagnostic exams of donor organs while onsite at the hospital

• Imaging URL is entered into UNet so all surgeons have access to the studies

• Surgeons review exams on the Life Image viewer via PC, Mac or iPad

“If we place even one marginal heart, it is more than worth it.”

Crystal Peeples, Donation Coordinator

The Results

1,703 Organ Exams Shared

With Life Image, Gift of Life was able to share 1,703 exams in 2014.

Expanded Reach

Have the ability to share organ images instantly anywhere in the US or beyond.

Improve Matching Capabilities

Helps potentially life-saving organs have every possibility of being matched to a waiting patient. In one time-sensitive case, a viable set of lungs may not have been matched had the surgeon not been able to easily and thoroughly review the diagnostic imaging online.

More Time to Prepare for Surgeries

Surgeons can determine viability of organs from their remote location instead of spending cycles traveling, meaning there is more time to prepare for the procedure or to work other cases if the organ is not a match.

An Extension of Existing Workflow

OPOs and transplant centers both utilize the existing UNet process for matching organs, which removed usability barriers. Surgeons simply log into UNet as they would for a normal case, but now there is the ability to access image data.

Enhanced Image Exchange Practices for Transplant Surgeons

1. Invite referral sites to instantly send you studies for review
2. View exams on a PC, Mac, or iPad anywhere with Web access
3. Import images to PACS to view on a preferred workstation
4. Share reports and essential documents with the images