Yale New Haven Health saved 470 hours of nurses' time in 1 year with EHR tool

Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health partnered with New England Donor Services, the northeastern U.S.' organ procurement organization, to streamline the organ donation process, Harvard Business Review reported Dec. 13.

Using a new EHR tool, the system sent 5,418 electronic organ donor referrals to New England Donor Services in 2020, saving 470 hours of nurses’ time. 

The standard organ donation process begins when a caretaker of a patient who has died or is near death calls their regional organ procurement organization to conduct a screening to determine whether the patient can be a donor. The call takes 15 minutes on average.

New England Donor Services developed a tool that automates organ donor referrals by sending a message with the information needed for the initial screening. The message is sent directly in the EHR, and a message is sent to the hospital to notify their care team whether the patient has potential to donate organs. The messages are sent using the ​​Health Level Seven International information exchange protocol, the report said.

Yale New Haven Health tested the tool for eight weeks in 2020 at three critical care floors in its flagship hospital. Originally, the system planned to roll out the tool gradually over the next few years, however, Yale New Haven Health immediately deployed the tool systemwide after seeing how much of nurses' time was saved during the pilot, the report said.

Two other New England health systems, Beth Israel Lahey Health and Cambridge Health Alliance, both based in Cambridge, Mass., have deployed the tool since Yale New Haven Health's pilot.

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