Alberta takes step towards electronic organ, tissue donation system

Organ donation pamphlets are handed out across Canada. Leon Neal/Getty Images

EDMONTON – The province is moving forward with a plan to develop an electronic donor management system for organ and tissue donations.

Alberta Health recently released a request for proposals to develop a business and technical plan to support the procurement of the donor management system.

READ MORE: Alberta launches online organ and tissue donor registry

“The rationale for the [Donor Management System] Go Forward Plan is to implement a single province-wide donor management system with the required functionality. This single system will enable a coordinated approach to donor management that is currently lacking in Alberta,” the document states.

Carolyn Ziegler, media relations advisor for Alberta Health, said the donor management system has been identified as a priority to monitor performance of the province’s donation system.

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She said currently a combination of manual and electronic systems are used by AHS donation programs.

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READ MORE: Albertans asked to become organ donors when they renew driver’s license

The system seeks to capture data related to organ and tissue donations in real time.

A request for information for the donor management system was issued in October 2015. It details specifics the system must have:

  • An ability to accommodate donor cases of heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, stomach and small bowel
  • A future requirement to accommodate donor cases for hands and face
  • Being able to track organ, ocular or tissue transportation and location
  • An ability to document the next of kin name or substitute decision maker and contact information
  • An ability to show information about donor hospitals regarding organ/tissue procedure capabilities
  • Being able to document and track when organs and tissues are not offered and the reason(s)
  • Being able to document outcomes and final disposition of donations, such as whether it was used for transplant, returned to the body, discarded

Ziegler said the next steps and timing of the system will be determined by the results of the request for proposal for the Go Forward Plan.

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A bidder to develop the Go Forward Plan for the electronic management system is required from Apr. 1 to June 30.

RELATED: Organ and tissue donations dip in Alberta

Ziegler said Alberta’s deceased organ donation rate was 13.98 donors per million in 2014, which sits below the national rate of 16.7.


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