July 14, 2024

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University of Vermont Health Network and the Center for Donation & Transplant Launch InVita Healthcare Technologies’ iReferral to Streamline the Organ and Tissue Donation Referral Process

5 min read

iReferralSM automatically identifies potential organ and tissue donors and streamlines the hospital-to-OPO referral process.

BURLINGTON, Vt., June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Vermont Health Network (UVM Health Network) has partnered with InVita Healthcare Technologies (InVita), ConnectLife, and the Center for Donation & Transplant (CDT), the federally designated Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) serving upstate New York and western Vermont, to launch an automated and enhanced organ and tissue donation process.

iReferral is healthcare interoperability technology which replaces the prior time-sensitive and manual telephonic donor referral process that automatically identifies potential organ and tissue donors based on established criteria and securely delivers donor referrals to the corresponding OPO’s iTransplantSM System, returning provider and nursing time to the patient bedside while improving compliance to federal requirements and maximizing opportunities for donation and transplantation.

“When it comes to organ donation, every second counts,” said Jennifer DeMaroney, BSN, Organ Donation Coordinator for UVM Health Network. “Updating the time-intensive and manual referral process to automatically identify potential donors and securely deliver referrals will increase the number of organ and tissue donations while keeping nurses at the bedside providing patient care and supporting family members. We are honored to collaborate on this impactful work, which will ensure more potential donors and families have the opportunity to donate and save lives.”

The health system, CDT, ConnectLife and InVita began work in latter end of 2023 to first implement iReferral at the University of Vermont Medical Center. After the successful launch at UVM Medical Center on April 17, 2024, the teams are preparing to launch iReferral at five additional UVM Health Network hospitals in the upcoming weeks to streamline organ and tissue donation referral processes at the other health system hospitals within CDT’s donation service area.

“The Center for Donation and Transplant is honored to collaborate with InVita and employ this new technology to improve more lives through donation,” said Karin Rebehn, CDT’s Assistant Executive Director. In addition, “iReferral will lead to more referrals, give precious time back to the healthcare professionals at the bedside, and provide additional opportunities for CDT staff to assess potential donors. This partnership promises enhanced efficiency and, most importantly, more lives saved!”

iReferral integrates UVM Health Network’s electronic medical records system, Epic, with ConnectLife’s iTransplant System. ConnectLife, the federally designated OPO serving Western New York, operates as the donor referral center for CDT to perform initial referral intake and screening on behalf of CDT. ConnectLife then seamlessly notifies CDT of referrals with donation potential via long-standing and established iTransplant-to-iTransplant System integrations between the two organizations to share donor referral data electronically and securely.

“The implementation of the iReferral interface has been a great experience for the Donor Referral Center. We have seen an immediate improvement in data entry accuracy, as well as a decrease in phone volume from UVM. Timely notifications and assignments through the iTransplant System will continue to improve the DRC’s efficiency in handling new referrals. We are looking forward to its implementation across the rest of the UVM network,” says Kayla Giancarlo, Director of Clinical Analytics and Donor Referral Services.

With more than 100,000 patients on the nation’s transplant waitlist awaiting a life-saving organ, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations mandate hospitals refer all potential organ and tissue donors to their federally designated OPO. With each donor having the ability to save up to eight (8) lives through organ transplantation and enhance over seventy-five (75) more through tissue donation, every donation opportunity and donor referral is of critical importance.

“InVita is proud to be the first to bring this technological innovation to UVM and its staff as well as to the citizens of Upstate New York and Vermont,” said Wade Liu, InVita’s Chief Product Officer and General Manager, Donation and Transplant Division. “iReferral further advances the accuracy and timeliness of potential organ and tissue donor notification to CDT, thereby improving the hospital’s compliance to federal mandates, giving nurses more time with their patients and families, and providing more families the opportunity to save lives through donation and transplant.”

About The University of Vermont Health Network | uvmhealth.org
The University of Vermont Health Network is an integrated system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives. Our 15,000 employees are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our health care partners remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.

About CDT | cdtnyvt.org
The Center for Donation & Transplant is one of 56 federally designated non-profit organ procurement organizations across the United States. Our mission is to offer hope and healing to donor families in upstate New York and western Vermont, while empowering our community to restore the health of those needing an organ or tissue transplant through excellence of service, education and advocacy of organ and tissue donation. For more information about CDT or to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor, please visit www.cdtnyvt.org.

About ConnectLife | connectlife.org
ConnectLife is Western New York’s only community blood bank and federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization. ConnectLife helps save and heal lives through organ, eye, tissue, birth tissue, and blood donation. In addition to serving Western New York, ConnectLife serves as the Donor Referral Center (DRC) and Tissue Recovery Agency for Center for Donation and Transplant and Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. Between the three OPOs, the DRC handles upwards of 200,000 calls annually. 

About InVita Healthcare Technologies | invitahealth.com
InVita provides mission-critical and chain-of-custody software technologies for complex medical, forensic, and community care environments. InVita’s solutions streamline clinical workflows, optimize supply chains, sample tracking, and visibility across donation and transplantation, blood and plasma operations, the tissue and implant lifecycle, and environments spanning DNA and forensics. InVita continues to expand the iReferral℠ and iTransplant℠ platforms supporting nearly 75% of all OPOs in the United States and used by more than 15,000 medical professionals across more than 100 organ, tissue, eye, and birth tissue organizations around the world. 

SOURCE InVita Healthcare Technologies

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