Background: There is concern that the metrics currently used to regulate transplant centers, one-year patient and graft survival, may have adverse consequences including decreasing higher risk donor organ acceptance and transplant volume. This raises questions about whether alternative measures would be more appropriate. Methods: We surveyed American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) and American Society of Transplantation (AST) members (n = 270) to characterize perceptions of several metrics that are used for regulation, are publicly reported, or have been suggested elsewhere, regarding their effectiveness, amenability to risk adjustment, and predicted effects on volume, mortality, and waitlist size. Results: Respondents rated one-year patient and graft survival the most effective measure of quality of care (mean scores = 7.44, 7.31, respectively, out of 10) and most amenable to risk adjustment (mean scores = 6.26, 6.13, respectively). Most respondents believed alternative metrics would not impact their center's volume, waitlist size, or one-year transplant mortality. However, some did predict unintended consequences; for example, some believed using one-year waitlist mortality, one-year mortality of patients listed, or one-year mortality of patients referred for transplant would decrease the number of transplants performed (48.6%, 46.7%, and 48.3% of respondents, respectively). Discussion: Despite previously published concerns with existing regulatory metrics, most participants did not believe any metrics would outperform one-year patient and graft survival.
- Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients
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