Your journey to organ transplantation will include many important decisions, including where to receive your transplant care. Today, we’re sharing a critical resource with you: the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). SRTR will empower you to research the various transplant centers that perform the type of transplant you need, leaving you confident in the center you ultimately choose.
Here are five things to know about using SRTR:
1. SRTR provides statistical analysis to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, and Department of Health and Human Service. The purpose of their reporting is to evaluate organ allocation and other OPTN policies, and assist in policy, performance metrics, economic analysis and preparation of special reports to Congress. SRTR data is publicly available and for anyone to use, including you!
2. SRTR data is released twice a year, in December/January and June. Program Summary Reports (PSR) are available on every transplant center in the United States. PSRs provide three main sections: program summary, waiting list information and transplant information. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the information the PSR contains. The key is to becoming savvy with what to look for.
3. The first key is to take notice of the PSR user guide and table of contents, which take up the first few pages of the report. The user guide will orient you to everything the report contains and the table of contents will tell you how to get there.
4. As you research a specific transplant center, look for their transplant rate. This is a measure of how frequently patients on a program’s waiting list undergo transplant. Programs with higher transplant rates tend to perform transplants more frequently than programs with lower transplant rates. The transplant rate is given as number of transplants per 100 patients listed per year. So a value of 20 means would mean for 100 patients listed for one year at this program, on the average 20 would be transplanted. As an example, we can look at the January 2017 kidney transplant PSR for Mayo Clinic’s campus in Phoenix. On page 5, we see the transplant rate is 35.6 (compared to the expected rate of 17.5), which translates to a median wait time of less than three years, an outcome that is among the best in the country.
5. Two other data points to look at are patient and graft survival. Patient survival is a measure of the likelihood that a patient will be alive at a certain time post-transplant. Graft survival is similar, but reports the likelihood that a patient will be alive with a functioning transplanted organ at a certain time post-transplant. We can look at the January 2017 heart transplant PSR for Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester as an example. On page 23, we see that 96.15% of patients are alive three years after receiving a heart transplant. It’s important to look at the number below that, “Expected probability of surviving at 3 years” because it takes into account the unique characteristics of that center’s transplant patients. You can see the expected survival rate was just 84.78%, so this transplant center performed well above the expected outcome. Similarly, on page 17, we can see that 96.23% of patients had a functioning graft three years after receiving a heart transplant, whereas the expected graft survival was 83.98%.
There are countless other insights you can pull from SRTR PSR reports. We encourage you to explore!
Also, join us on March 31 at 11 a.m. CT for “Transplant 101: Preparing for Your Journey,” a free, one-hour webinar with transplant experts David Douglas, M.D., chair of the Transplant Center at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Phoenix, Ariz., and Beverly Hansen, M.S.W., L.M.S.W., Social Work Manager. One of topics our experts will be covering is how to use SRTR, so if you’d like more information, join us and get your questions ready!