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Rush Transplant Survival Rates Above Expectations

Adult patients who received liver and kidney transplants at Rush University Medical Center had better-than-expected survival rates a year later, according to a new report, including a 95.45 percent one-year survival rate for liver transplant recipients and a 96.92 percent rate for recipients of a kidney transplant from a deceased donor.

“While these rates makes Rush’s program unique to Chicago and among the nation’s best, we continually seek improvement in our plans and in how we care for our patients,” said Dr. Martin Hertl, director of the Rush Solid Organ Transplant Program and section chief of transplant surgery at Rush.

“The success we found is in having a multidisciplinary team to collaborate on every aspect of a patient’s care.”

“Everything about what they did is just top shelf,” says Eddie Johnson, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, of the transplant team at Rush. A kidney transplant recipient, Johnson discussed his experience at the recent 2018 Transplant Symposium held at Rush, along with his son and kidney donor, Daniel Johnson, a Chicago police officer, in the video at the bottom of this page. 

Data helps patients when searching for a transplant program

The data for patient survival rates one year after transplant come from the latest 5-tier system report by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) released on Oct. 9. SRTR provides data on organ transplantation that is used to help prospective patients make decisions about which transplant program to choose.

Every six months, SRTR releases data about organ transplant activity in the United States. The most recent spring data, includes outcomes for transplants that occurred from January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.  (SRTR is operated by a division of the nonprofit Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation under contract with the Division of Transplantation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

According to the transplant data, the living donor kidney transplant program at Rush continues to achieve 100 percent one-year graft (organ) and patient survival rates, as it has since 2014. Additionally, the kidney-pancreas program maintains its 100 percent organ and patient survival rates.

“It’s very difficult to reduce something that is as complicated as transplant to a grade or score; but when using the survival rate to measure the success of the program, it shows that Rush is one of the best in the nation,” said Dr. Nancy Reau, chief of the Section of Hepatology at Rush and associate director of the Rush Solid Organ Transplant Program.

Outcome data is one key measurement tool in determining quality health care. This data can include mortality rates, patient safety indicators and readmission rates. Designations and certifications by official health care accrediting organizations also provide information about when a hospital goes above the norm to provide a higher quality of care.

Team approach helps keep patients healthy

Transplant patients receive an evaluation and medical tests and are set up with a team of health care providers that may include a pre-transplant nurse coordinator, hepatologist, nephrologist, transplant surgeon, cardiologist, medical assistant, social worker, pharmacist, dietician, financial coordinator and other team members.

“From the moment a patient comes to Rush, several individuals are in contact with the person. Having each of these key providers on a patient’s care team will help identify and resolve issues that may arise to help keep each patient as healthy as possible,” said Reau.

“While we have an excellent team in place, the success of our program couldn’t happen without the wonderful people who donate their organs as living donors or by signing organ donor cards in the event of sudden death.”

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Nancy Difiore
Associate Director, Media Relations
(312) 942-5159

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