Background: In 2005, the results published by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients showed that Ochsner Clinic Foundation's patient and graft survival rates were statistically lower than expected, and the United Network for Organ Sharing Membership and Professional Standards Committee placed our center under peer review.
Methods: In response, patient outcomes prior to August 2005 were carefully reviewed in a transparent fashion and protocols were written to standardize treatments. We renewed the focus on patient-related outcomes and regulatory adherence and empowered frontline staff to express their views, allowing for real teamwork to develop. Multiple changes were implemented in the everyday running of the program. A quality assurance and performance improvement plan (QAPI) was initiated to improve outcomes.
Results: In 2012, the Ochsner liver transplant program became the largest liver transplant program in the United States by volume and in 2013 was awarded the prestigious CareChex award, acknowledging it as the number one program in terms of quality of care and outcomes for liver transplantation.
Conclusion: The methodical application of this QAPI program achieved a remarkable transformation of the Ochsner liver transplant program and exemplifies what is possible with strong teamwork from dedicated and talented staff.
Keywords: Liver transplantation; outcome assessment; patient safety; quality assurance–health care.