SMALL TRANSPLANT CENTERS
ANCHOR LEAD: WHY DO SMALLER TRANSPLANT CENTERS EXPERIENCE WORSE OUTCOMES? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Heart transplant centers need to do a minimum threshold of operations each year to maintain their accreditation, but that number is actually too low, a Johns Hopkins study concludes. John Conte, study author and a heart transplant surgeon, says one needs to consider the geographic area when assessing such programs.
CONTE: How well do those programs that are doing ten transplants a year or less serve the population that they’re serving? Are there people who they consider at too high risk that would be transplanted at a center that has more experience? They’re probably used to taking care of sicker patients, but more importantly they’re able to identify what’s more appropriate for that patient and they’re probably willing to take a risk that a smaller program will not. :26
The data clearly point to the fact that if patients are able to travel and choose where they have a heart transplant, the higher volume center is better. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.