March 30, 2023 : As unexpected as it might seem to those focused on partisan politics, authorities and administrations of different ideological stripes can occasionally cooperate to benefit the public. One example comes from the country’s organ donation system and reforms that will provide the gift of life.
The Biden administration declared an overhaul of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. The administration stated it would rebuild the organ transplant network’s failed IT systems, among many modifications. Just as essential, the Department of Health and Human Services expressed it would end the monopoly contract that one society has to run the organ transplant network nationally.
The most current steps follow bipartisan researches that have examined multiple declines in the organ donation and procurement system. For example, a Senate Finance Committee report unleashed last summer found more than 1,000 complaints concerning organ transplantation, containing such egregious errors as organ transplant entourage throwing a donated kidney in the garbage.
The Biden administration’s efforts also build upon reforms enacted by its predecessor to improve efficiency and accountability. The Trump administration brought steps to incentivize organ donation, subjecting the 56 provincial organ procurement organizations to more significant scrutiny, including the potential for competitors if they fail to measure up. Now, the Biden administration is raising that accountability to the entity that toils with the regional OPOs to correspond transplants nationally.
In complement to actions by Congress and two administrations, other independent inquiries have demonstrated the myriad flaws in our present organ donation system. For instance, the organ transplant system improperly dumps healthy organs in ways that results patients to pass unnecessarily while waiting for transplants. Alongside, the organ transplant network relies on archaic and cumbersome technology that federal officials note has crashed frequently, requires manual data entry, and is susceptible to hacking and other cybersecurity dangers.
Technological advancements lie at the center of the recently declared reforms by the Biden administration. As part of an effort to improve transparency, a new data dashboard provides granular facts about organ donation. Visitors to the dashboard site can find data on grants and transplants by type of organ, nationally and in particular regions.
Most notably, people also can find data on outcomes, both how long it bore for recipients to get off the transplant waitlist and survival rates after transplantation, separated by the transplant center. This dashboard delivers an essential step toward giving patients the quality details they desperately want and deserve, not just for organ transplants but all healthcare documents.
Comprehending that approximately 6,000 Americans die every year while pausing for an organ transplant, I mourn for the families who have lost their near and dear ones unnecessarily owing to our current organ donation system’s inefficiencies.
That is why I support this administration’s effort to bring accountability to the nationwide organ transplant network. I helped the Trump administration’s steps to bring accountability to the 56 regional OPOs.
Fixing our nation’s organ transplantation system will require Congress to work together in a joint effort to save lives. Thankfully, successive administrations have done just that.