Press Releases & Announcements
The latest with SRTR
The spring 2018 release of program-specific and OPO-specific reports (PSRs and OSRs) will be delayed. The Organ Procurement Transplantation Network (OPTN) experienced an unanticipated loss of its source for supplemental information identifying whether a patient is currently living or deceased. This information is important in transplant outcomes analysis.
In April 2018, OPTN began receiving this supplemental information again, and is in the process of confirming a large volume of information. All patient status information that is ultimately confirmed will then be incorporated into the OPTN database and will be used in OPTN and SRTR data analyses and reporting, including the PSRs and OSRs.
Due to the delay, the spring 2018 PSRs/OSRs will not be released on their scheduled date (7.9.2018). Instead, the anticipated release will be delayed until 8.9.2018. This delay will also apply to the secure preview; instead of 6.15.2018, the secure release is anticipated to be previewed on 7.16.2018.
As soon as the updated information becomes available, data updates will be implemented. At that time, we will also be offering updated SAFs for researchers who received one of the following SAF releases: September 2017, December 2017, or March 2018.
Thank you for your patience as we work with our partners to resolve this issue. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In December 2016, SRTR launched a new website that displayed a new 5-tier outcome assessment for all transplant programs in the United States. This new system, which replaced a 3-tier system, was developed over a period of 5 years and approved by SRTR’s Visiting Committee (SVC). In response to community feedback, the 5-tier system was moved to a Beta website in February 2017, and was replaced by the previous 3-tier system on the main SRTR website. The intent of the Beta site was to allow for more feedback and to consider additional improvements. Changes have been made in response to the feedback received, and SRTR is pleased to announce that an updated version of the Beta website has been launched. SRTR will seek feedback for a period of 60 days ending July 13, 2018, after which the SVC will recommend further modification or moving the Beta site to the main SRTR website.
Changes to the site include:
- Five-tier assessments for waitlist mortality and deceased donor transplant rate have been added, in response to feedback that the new system placed too much emphasis on first-year transplant outcomes.
- The transplant rate is now based on deceased donor transplants only, rather than on both deceased and living donor transplants, in response to feedback that the combined transplant rate was potentially misleading to patients without a living donor.
- Living donor transplant counts for liver and kidney programs are now displayed alongside the deceased donor transplant counts, in response to feedback that the site should prominently display programs that perform more living donor transplants.
- Various improvements to educational materials provided alongside the search results have been made, including 1) improved explanatory text for each outcome as determined through patient focus groups; 2) a key that shows expected outcomes for programs in each tier for waitlist mortality, transplant rate, and first-year graft survival; 3) an indicator showing which outcome has the greatest overall impact on survival after listing for each organ; 4) removal of interpretive text previously provided with each tier, e.g., “worse than expected,” “better than expected.”
These changes were made following feedback received from the community and vetted through patient focus groups and randomized trials of various website iterations during 2017 and early 2018. SRTR welcomes feedback regarding these changes, and will collect feedback for a period of 60 days, at which time the Visiting Committee will consider the feedback and recommend any changes.
Feedback can be provided to email@example.com. We’ll also be available at the 2018 American Transplant Congress (ATC) meeting (June 2-6), booth #202, and at the 2018 AOPO Annual Meeting (June 18-21), booth #409, to answer any questions. Review the current version of the beta site at beta.srtr.org.
In approximately two weeks, a new version of the SRTR beta site will be available for review and comment. A beta version of the SRTR website containing the 5-tier outcome assessment has been available online over the past year. During that time, SRTR has worked with HRSA and the SRTR Visiting Committee (SVC) to consider feedback. Transplant professionals, researchers, and patients and their family members submitted comments. SRTR has been working with HRSA and the SVC to implement a series of changes in response to feedback received. Additionally, Drs. Ajay Israni and Cory Schaffhausen have been conducting research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to study how patients use and interpret the information on the SRTR website. Their research has also led to a number of suggested improvements in the presentation of the data for public consumption.
With HRSA and the SVC’s guidance, a new version of the beta website has been developed. The new version presents a number of improvements, including 5-tier assessments of waitlist mortality and deceased-donor transplant rate, in addition to posttransplant outcomes, indicators of which metrics have the most overall impact on patient survival following listing, and improved language and educational material. SRTR will launch the updated beta site for a 60-day comment and review period. This update to the beta site is expected to go live by mid-May.
We’ll be available at the 2018 American Transplant Congress (ATC) meeting (June 2-6), booth #202, to answer any questions. Review the current version of the beta site at beta.srtr.org.
The Living Donor Collective (LDC), a pilot project with 16 transplant programs (10 kidney and 6 liver) following long-term health outcomes after living organ donation, has launched a website that houses information about the initiative. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be conducting this pilot initiative over the next two years, with the intent of ultimately including all donors and potential donors in the US once the pilot phase is complete. Data collection for the pilot phase will begin in April 2018. You can access the website at www.livingdonorcollective.org for more information about the project.
The purpose of the LDC is to study the long-term health and wellbeing of living kidney and liver donors. Transplant programs will register all persons being evaluated at their center. Donors can then be compared to individuals that were evaluated for donation but did not donate, to understand the effect of donating. In time, we will be able to tell persons considering donating about the long-term benefits and risks of living donation.
If you have any questions about the Living Donor Collective, please contact us.
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) began publicly reporting new offer acceptance metrics for heart, kidney, liver, and lung programs in 2017. These metrics are designed to provide programs with data about their acceptance patterns within various subgroups of offers, and allows programs to benchmark against other programs nationally. In addition, SRTR began providing CUSUM charts for offer acceptance on SRTR's secure website. The goal of this webinar is to describe the new metrics, the methodologies used to derive the metrics, and to provide insights into interpreting and using the metrics. Space is limited, pre-register for the event today:
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 1 – 2 p.m. CST.
The January 2018 PSRs/OSRs now reflect new posttransplant liver risk adjustment models, new waitlist transplant and mortality rate models, expanded offer acceptance reports, and updated organ yield models. For an in-depth look at these improvements, visit our news page to read our previous announcements about these updates.
For offer acceptance reports, SRTR has integrated liver, heart, and lung offer acceptance metrics into the PSRs. In addition to the offer acceptance metrics provided in the public reports, SRTR is providing offer acceptance CUSUM charts along with a national summary report on the SRTR secure site*. The national summary report is also provided to the OPOs.
Additionally, waitlist transplant and mortality rate models now report on 2-year cohorts rather than 1-year cohorts.
Transplant programs and OPOs can log onto the SRTR Secure Site to view the PSRs/OSRs January 2018 release. The reports are also now available on the SRTR public & beta sites. Stay up to date on PSR and OSR reporting timelines by visiting srtr.org.
* Secure site access is only available to transplant program and OPO staff.
Log onto the SRTR secure site to view reports. Reports will be available on the public and beta sites early January 2018.
SRTR has updated the transplant rate and waitlist mortality models for the program-specific reports (PSRs) of kidney, liver, lung, and heart programs. The models will be used to derive the expected number of transplants and deaths on the waiting list in the January 2018 PSRs.
There are several important characteristics of the updated models. First, a much wider range of candidate characteristics at listing are considered, including information from the status history and/or justification files. Second, inactive status was removed from the liver/heart models, due to concerns that this would create potential non-clinical incentives to inactive candidates unlikely to undergo transplant. Third, separate models are estimated for pediatric and adult candidates at listing. Additionally, the updated models use a single 2-year cohort rather than two separate 1-year cohorts. Lastly, the models are now estimated with the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO). The LASSO can select important covariates while improving the predictive performance of the models.
Pediatric candidates currently receive significantly more priority in allocation than adult candidates. Thus, beginning with the January 2018 PSR release, the transplant rate and waitlist mortality sections of the PSR will classify the observed and expected transplants and deaths on the waiting list by pediatric and adult status.
The updated transplant rate and waitlist mortality models can be previewed on our website. The models were built using a similar process to the posttransplant models; read the SRTR publication Developing Statistical Models to Assess Transplant Outcomes Using National Registries: The Process in the United States for more information.
Share your feedback on the transplant rate and waitlist mortality models by contacting us.
To identify the organ utilization practices of transplant programs, SRTR is working toward including program-specific offer acceptance practices in the program-specific reports (PSRs). Kidney offer acceptance was integrated into the PSRs in July 2017. Since then, SRTR has developed liver, heart and lung offer acceptance models and plans to integrate offer acceptance reports for these organs into the January 2018 PSRs. The models are being previewed on our website.
SRTR has also developed new liver posttransplant models for graft and patient survival, and plans to integrate these models into the January 2018 PSRs. These models are the first liver models to use the penalized modeling framework (LASSO) that has previously been applied to kidney, heart, and lung posttransplant models. This modeling framework allows SRTR to consider a large number of potential predictors without overfitting.
The new liver models also change how missing data is handled. Like the kidney, heart, and lung posttransplant models, when the models are fit, missing data is handled through multiple imputation. In multiple imputation, the non-missing data is used to predict the values of the missing data multiple times, producing multiple similar – but not identical – data sets with all of the missing data replaced with predicted values. The fitted coefficient values are then averaged across the different models.
Although multiple imputation works well for fitting the models, it can't be used for program evaluations. To encourage programs to submit data completely, SRTR calculates the lowest risk associated with the non-missing values of each predictor, then assigns that lowest-risk value to the missing data effect. Since missing data is treated as equivalent to the lowest-risk data, there is no incentive for programs to leave data elements missing.
The new liver models can be previewed here. More detailed information about the modeling process can be found in the following publication: Snyder JJ, Salkowski N, Kim SJ, Zaun D, Xiong H, Israni AK, Kasiske BL. Developing statistical models to assess transplant outcomes using national registries: The process in the United States Transplantation. 2016;100:288-294.
Comments on the offer acceptance and liver models can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SRTR has updated the organ procurement organization (OPO) yield models and plans to integrate the models into the January 2018 OPO-specific reports (OSRs). These models are used to derive expected organ yield for deceased donors as reported in the OSRs.
As part of the process for updating the models, SRTR sought feedback on potentially important predictors and interactions among predictors; the responses directly contributed to incorporation of new predictors, for example, warm ischemia time for donation after circulatory death donors and ejection fraction. The models are now estimated with the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO). The LASSO can select important covariates while improving the prediction of organ yield. Additionally, in response to the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, the updated models now adjust for donor HIV status.
The SRTR Visiting Committee (SVC) met in person on July 25, 2017, primarily to discuss continued improvements to the transplant program data SRTR displays when website users search. When the SVC met on May 25, 2017, three recommendations were made to improve the search results:
- Add a tier system for transplant rate and waitlist mortality rate to add context to program outcomes both pre- and posttransplant.
- Make the transplant rate calculation based on transplants from deceased donors for kidney and liver programs, rather than including living donor transplants in the numerator of the calculation.
- Split the transplant volume metrics into deceased and living donor transplants for kidney and liver programs.
Between the May and July meetings, SRTR staff worked to implement a version of the website that contains each of these recommendations. The results were reviewed by the SVC at the July meeting, and the following recommendations were made:
- Inclusion of waitlist mortality on the search results page: The committee was supportive of including a tier system for waitlist mortality for all programs other than kidney. The SVC’s recommendation was to continue finalizing the models used to support the waitlist mortality evaluations and tier system for all organs, while seeking additional input from patients as to whether including waitlist mortality metrics in the primary search results would be beneficial.
- Inclusion of a deceased donor transplant rate on the search results page: The committee was supportive of including the transplant rate tier based on deceased donor transplants along with the tiers for first-year survival.
- Splitting transplant volume into deceased and living donor transplants: The committee reviewed a development version of the website that split transplant volume by deceased and living donor transplants for liver and kidney programs, and the members were supportive of this change.
In summary, the SVC continued to be supportive of adding pretransplant metrics to the search results page of the SRTR website to add context to post-transplant outcomes. The committee also recommended continuing to develop a waitlist mortality tier and a deceased donor transplant rate tier, with the caveat that more work is needed to understand whether a waitlist mortality tier is helpful to transplant patients. Additionally, the committee was supportive of splitting the transplant volume by deceased donor and living donor for kidney and liver programs, and SRTR will continue developing models to support a 5-tier system for transplant rate and waitlist mortality. If the SVC suggests moving forward with the tier system for the metrics currently being developed and tested, the system will first be previewed to the transplant community on the beta website (beta.srtr.org), seeking feedback for a period of 60 days.
SRTR has integrated kidney offer acceptance behavior and multi-organ transplant information into the program-specific reports. The multi-organ tables provide descriptive information on multi-organ transplants performed by the program. Specifically, the tables present the number of completed multi-organ transplants, program-specific and national graft failure rates involving the component organs, and program-specific and national patient death rates.
The kidney offer acceptance tables and figures have three broad goals: provide general offer acceptance information in the public PSRs, give detailed information to programs and CUSUM reports on the secure site*, and communicate kidney offer acceptance information to organ procurement organizations (OPOs) through the secure site.
Log into the SRTR Secure Site to view the Spring 2017 release. PSRs and OSRs are also now available on the SRTR public & beta sites. Stay up to date on PSR and OSR reporting timelines by visiting srtr.org.
* Secure site access is only available to transplant program and OPO administrators.
On May 9, 2017, the SRTR Visiting Committee held its quarterly meeting in Arlington, Virginia. In an attempt to seek better understanding of patient public website usage and needs, much of the 6-hour meeting was spent reviewing the feedback received regarding SRTR’s new 5-tier outcome assessment, with the goal of recommending a future direction for HRSA and SRTR. The committee recommended keeping the 3-tier system on the main SRTR website (www.srtr.org) as it currently exists, and keeping the 5-tier system available on SRTR’s beta website (http://beta.srtr.org) while the committee considers future changes in response to feedback received.
Future changes SRTR will be exploring at the request of the Visiting Committee include the following:
- presenting other components of patient outcomes in a manner that better compliments the 1-year survival, e.g., deceased donor transplant rate and mortality rate on the waiting list;
- presenting both living donor and deceased donor volume to give patients a better sense of liver and kidney programs that perform relatively large proportions of living donor transplants.
SRTR is working on implementing a test version of these changes, which will be presented to the Visiting Committee at its upcoming quarterly meeting on July 25, 2017. At that time, the Visiting Committee will consider the revisions and make a recommendation for a path forward for SRTR’s main public website. This recommendation will be part of an ongoing process, in an effort to maintain a consistent improvement system for the SRTR website that meets the needs of our patients.
Please feel free to reach out to SRTR at SRTR@SRTR.org for further information.
Bertram Kasiske, MD FACP John Gill, MD, PhD Susan Gunderson, MHA
SRTR Director Visiting Committee Co-Chair Visiting Committee Co-Chair
SRTR held a webinar on April 19, 2017 about the new website and the 3 tiers vs. 5 tiers. The recording of the webinar is now available on the SRTR YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel for future updates.
SRTR is working toward integrating kidney offer acceptance behavior and multi-organ transplant information into the program-specific reports. The multi-organ reports will provide descriptive information on multi-organ transplants performed by the program. Specifically, the reports present the number of completed multi-organ transplants, program-specific and national graft failure rates involving the component organs, and program-specific and national patient death rates. The kidney offer acceptance reports have three broad goals: provide general offer acceptance information in the public PSRs, give detailed information to programs and CUSUM reports on the secure site, and communicate kidney offer acceptance information to organ procurement organizations (OPOs) through the secure site. Each report is currently being previewed on the SRTR secure site*.
SRTR is seeking comments on the reports. The comment deadline is April 30. After evaluating the feedback received and making the necessary adjustments, SRTR expects to include kidney offer acceptance and multi-organ transplant information in the June 2017 PSR release. Submit your comments to email@example.com.
* Secure site access is only available to transplant program administrators and delegates.
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) plans to host an informational webinar about the new SRTR website and tiered outcome assessment systems. SRTR’s goals are to describe the motivation behind the changes, compare and contrast the 3-tier and 5-tier outcome assessment methodologies, and address common questions about the two systems. Information will be provided as to how interested parties may submit feedback regarding the website and outcome assessment systems. Space is limited, pre-register for the event today:
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 1 – 2 p.m. CDT.
In December 2016, the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) replaced the “3-tier” public rating assessment of transplant center performance on its website with a “5-tier” assessment, with the goal of improving the usefulness of outcome information for transplant patients.
In response to feedback received from members of the transplant community regarding the lack of adequate time to review the new 5-tier rating system prior to implementation, HRSA requested that SRTR transfer the 5-tier rating to an alternate, publicly available beta site to undergo further review and identification of areas for improvement. The SRTR website’s outcome assessment information reverted to the 3-tier system on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Your comments and feedback about the 5-tier system on the beta site and/or the 3-tier system are welcomed, and may be submitted to SRTR by contacting us.
HRSA and SRTR remain committed to seeking and incorporating input from all stakeholders, especially patients, so that we can continually improve the SRTR web site and make outcome information more transparent and understandable for patients and their caregivers.
SRTR is working towards integrating kidney offer acceptance behavior and multi-organ transplant information into the program-specific reports. A preview of both reports will be released on the SRTR secure site on February 22, 2017.
The multi-organ reports will provide descriptive information on multi-organ transplants involving the program. Specifically, the reports present the number of completed multi-organ transplants, program-specific and national graft failure rates involving the component organ, and program-specific and national patient death rates. All reported outcomes are descriptive.
The kidney offer acceptance reports will have three broad goals: provide general offer acceptance information in the public reports, give detailed information to programs, and communicate relevant information to organ procurement organizations (OPOs). Thus, three separate reports will be previewed on the SRTR secure site:
- Draft Program-Specific Reports (PSRs). Offers acceptance information SRTR plans to integrate into the PSRs.
- Program Offer Acceptance Reports. Includes detailed information on program-specific offer acceptance behavior. Specifically, two- and one-sided CUSUM charts will be provided over a four-month period, and detailed offer acceptance information on important subgroups of offers. This report will not be integrated into the public reporting and will remain on the secure site, assessable only by the corresponding program.
- OPO Offer Acceptance Report. Provides detailed information on the programs likely to accept offers for kidneys at-risk of discard. This report will not be integrated into the public reporting and will remain on the secure site, assessable by every kidney program and OPO.
To help programs prepare for the reports, blinded previews of each report have been released on the secure site. The draft PSRs may be integrated into the June 2017 PSR release; feedback on the reports is greatly appreciated.
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is pleased to announce that they will launch a pilot project with 16 transplant programs that will establish a registry of living donors entitled the "Living Donor Collective," to follow long-term health outcomes after living donation.
SRTR’s plan is to establish a living donor registry in which participating transplant programs register all potential living donor candidates evaluated at their center. Data on all potential living organ donors will be submitted to SRTR at the beginning of their evaluation by the assessing transplant center, and aspects of their physical and psychosocial well-being will be followed up by SRTR. SRTR will provide support for coordination time to conduct this pilot study at each program, acknowledging that during this exploratory start-up study additional time and effort will be required to conduct the project.
This pilot project will allow SRTR to explore the logistics of enrolling potential living donors and test the possibility of direct follow-up with the registered participants without relying on OPTN data collection. All registered participants will be contacted for periodic surveys, and smaller numbers of participants will be contacted for more detailed, targeted surveys. Additional long term health outcomes will also be ascertained through linkages to various electronic data sources, including pharmacy prescription fill claims to determine outcomes such as treatment of end-stage renal disease, and complications such as diabetes, depression, and hypertension. SRTR will assess the outcome difference between the two groups for the long term effects of donation.
The pilot phase of establishing the registry is anticipated to last two years. It is projected that the first donors will be enrolled in the third or fourth quarter of 2017. Once the pilot phase is completed by the end of 2018, the registry can then be incrementally expanded to eventually include most if not all potential living donors evaluated at transplant programs in the US.