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Keywords:

  • deceased donors;
  • donation rates;
  • donor efficiency;
  • hospitals;
  • living donors;
  • mortality statistics;
  • neurosurgery;
  • organ donation;
  • organ procurement

The shortage of donor organs calls for a careful examination of all improvement options. In this study, 80 Dutch hospitals were compared. They provided 868 donors in a 5-year period, constituting 91% of all donors in that period in The Netherlands. Multilevel regression analysis was used to explain the differences between hospitals. Potential explanatory variables were hospital-specific mortality statistics, donor policy and structural hospital characteristics. Of all donors, 81% came from one quarter of the hospitals, mainly larger hospitals. A strong relationship was found between the number of donors and hospital-specific mortality statistics. Hospitals with a neurosurgery department had additional donors. Seven hospitals systematically underperformed over a period of 5 years. If these hospitals were to increase their donor efficiency to their expected value, it would lead to an increase of 10% in the number of donors. Most donors are found in large hospitals, implying that resources to improve donor-recruitment should be channelled to larger hospitals. This study presents an efficient strategy toward a benchmark for hospitals of their organ donation rates. Some larger hospitals performed less well than others. This suggests that there is still room for improvement. There is no evidence for large undiscovered and unused pools of donor organs.