Factors that patients value when choosing a transplant center have not been well studied. In order to guide the improvement of patient-facing materials, we conducted an anonymous electronic survey of patients that assessed the relative importance of patient experience, practical considerations, transplant center reputation, center experience, and waitlist when selecting a transplant center. A total of 409 respondents completed the survey, of whom 68% were kidney transplant recipients and 32% had chronic kidney disease or were on dialysis. Participants had mean age 56 ± 12 years and were predominantly female (61%), white (79%), and had an associate's degree or higher (68%). Participants most often prioritized waitlist when evaluating transplant centers (transplanted 26%, chronic kidney disease 40%), and waitlist was almost twice as likely as outcomes to be ranked most important (30% vs 17%). Education level and transplant status were significantly associated with factors used for center prioritization. Waitlisted respondents most commonly (48%) relied on physicians for information when selecting a center, while a minority cited transplant-specific organizations. In order to improve shared decision-making, materials outlining center-specific waitlist features should be prioritized. Novel patient-oriented metrics for measuring transplant center quality that align with patient priorities must be explored.
Keywords: Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients (SRTR); clinical research/practice; health services and outcomes research; kidney transplantation/nephrology; organ procurement organization; patient characteristics; quality of care/care delivery; social sciences.
© 2018 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.