Special Ops approach to transplants boosts patient outcomes, lowers cost

ISHLTORLANDO, Fla., April 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – An approach to organ recovery based on military-style Special Ops teams leads to better outcomes for both patients and hospitals, according to a far-reaching study of more than 1,000 heart and lung transplants in the United States. The research was presented today at the 39th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation by Hassan Tetteh, MD, an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Chief Medical Informatics Officer with the United States Navy.

Known as STAR – Specialized Thoracic Adapted Recovery – this approach builds recovery teams that operate regionally and independent of any single institution. Comprised of board-certified transplant surgeons exclusively dedicated to heart and lung organ recovery, STAR teams lead to improved outcomes across a broad set of criteria, from productivity to volume, the study showed.

“STAR teams allow hospitals to access on-demand, highly-skilled labor to augment their existing programs,” said Tetteh. “This leaves their surgeons on the ground while the highly experienced STAR teams procure the organs. For a marginal cost, hospitals can increase productivity and expand their capacity to evaluate more organs for transplantation.”

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