Measuring and monitoring performance—be it waiting list and posttransplant outcomes by a transplant center, or organ donation success by an organ procurement organization and its partnering hospitals—is an important component of ensuring good care for people with end-stage organ failure. Many parties have an interest in examining these outcomes, from patients and their families to payers such as insurance companies or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; from primary caregivers providing patient counseling to government agencies charged with protecting patients.
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients produces regular, public reports on the performance of transplant centers and organ procurement organizations. This article explains the statistical tools used to prepare these reports, with a focus on graft survival and patient survival rates of transplant centers—especially the methods used to fairly and usefully compare outcomes of centers that serve different populations. The article concludes with a practical application of these statistics—their use in screening transplant center performance to identify centers that may need remedial action by the OPTN/UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee.