University Hospitals' organ transplant program put on probation

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The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the United Network for Organ Sharing have put Cleveland-based University Hospitals on probation due to issues in its heart transplant program.

Per the OPTN/UNOS, probation means that a member is "executing a corrective action plan for noncompliance with OPTN policies or bylaws, or a serious lapse in patient safety or quality of care." The designation does not directly stop the hospital from continuing to provide transplant services.

Heart transplants are performed at UH's Case Medical Center in Cleveland. According the OPTN, physicians there perform a low volume of heart transplants and there have been instances of early-term recipient deaths. After a peer review — which found issues with the quality management protocols of the program — and a due process review, the hospital's program was put on probation.

"We welcome closer monitoring of our program, which had low patient volume in 2014," a UH Case Medical Center statement reads. "Since that time, we have exceeded our patient volume projections and our quality outcomes have met national benchmarks for the last 12 months."

OPTN is monitoring UH Case Medical Center to make sure it sustains volume growth and improvements in patient outcomes, according to the UH statement provided to Becker's. The two organizations are working closely as the hospital works to improve care quality.

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