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Natalie Dicou

Phone: 801-587-1374

Jan 25, 2017 9:58 AM

No one in the organ transplant community was expecting it — not surgeons or program leaders — but in January, the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) released its inaugural rankings of the nation’s transplant programs.

University of Utah Health Care finished No. 5 of 146 liver programs and No. 8 of 269 kidney programs. In addition to ranking every U.S. program from best to worst, SRTR assigned each a rating of 1-5. The U earned a 5 in both liver and kidney transplantation, which means that patient outcomes were “better than expected.” A score of 3 means a program’s outcomes were about the same as expected; a 1 means worse than expected.

“The SRTR rankings are comprehensive and take into account everything from one-year survival rates to donor issues to wait times — and we know the rankings are valid because they’re based on years of outcomes data,” said Robin Kim, chief of Transplantation and Advanced Hepatobiliary Surgery at the U.

Further validating SRTR’s list is the fact that its release was unanticipated, meaning there was no way for institutions to examine the metrics and game the system, Kim said. He hopes the U’s placement among the nation’s best encourages more Utah patients and regional patients to stay close to home for treatment.

“We want to make sure that no one in the region thinks they need to go elsewhere to get excellent transplant care, and we want to make sure we’re amplifying access to our program to people around our region,” Kim said.

According to the SRTR website, the organization “developed the 5-tiered outcome assessment system to make it easier for the general public to understand and compare the outcomes of different transplant programs.”

About the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients

“SRTR works to provide advanced statistical and epidemiological analyses related to solid organ allocation and transplantation in support of the Department of Health and Human Services and its agents in their oversight on the national organ transplantation program.” –

transplant rankings