Metrics for Patient Education and Referral to Transplant

The American Society of Transplantation would like to call your attention to the need for clear metrics on Dialysis Centers referral to evaluation for transplant.


Why is this a problem?

There is concern that people with end stage renal disease (ESRD) who are receiving dialysis may not be receiving adequate information regarding the benefits of kidney transplantation and referrals to transplant hospitals for transplant evaluation.


A Way to Prolong and Improve Quality of Life for Reduced Cost

While mortality rates have fallen for all people with ESRD1, the deaths after transplant are still far lower than with dialysis:

  • Kidney transplantation is associated with lower hospitalization rates, improved quality of life, and better chance of joining the work force and starting a family.
  • The cost of maintaining a person on dialysis is nearly three times as much per year, as maintaining a healthy kidney transplant1.

For these reasons, increasing transplant rates and ensuring long-term success of transplanted kidney is critical to improving the lives of people with ESRD and managing associated costs.


Why Aren’t More People Being Transplanted?

People with ESRD face several significant hurdles on their path to successful kidney transplantation.

  • Timely referral of potential transplant candidates for evaluation and listing for a kidney transplant is critical in order provide maximum access to transplantation before these patients become too sick to be transplanted.
  • Once listed for a transplant, these kidney transplant candidates face an acute shortage of donor organs. This may mean long waits, all the while on dialysis, with increased risk of death and increased cost. Effective and efficient patient referral, education, and listing practices combined with improving the organ donor pool through living donor education and clear OPO metrics for deceased donor organ referral and recovery will help to address the wait for organ transplantation.


How Can We Solve This Problem?

Support the development of dialysis center metrics to measure the level of patient education and quality of the referral process.



Approved by the AST Executive Committee on April 4, 2017

For a printable PDF, please click here.