Organ donation in the ICU: A document analysis of institutional policies, protocols, and order sets
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OBJECTIVE: To better understand how local policies influence organ donation rates. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY/DESIGN: We conducted a document analysis of our ICU organ donation policies, protocols and order sets. We used a systematic search of our institution's policy library to identify documents related to organ donation. We used Mindnode software to create a publication timeline, basic statistics to describe document characteristics, and qualitative content analysis to extract document themes. SETTING: Documents were retrieved from Hamilton Health Sciences, an academic hospital system with a high volume of organ donation, from database inception to October 2015. FINDINGS: We retrieved 12 active organ donation documents, including six protocols, two policies, two order sets, and two unclassified documents, a majority (75%) after the introduction of donation after circulatory death in 2006. Four major themes emerged: organ donation process, quality of care, patient and family-centred care, and the role of the institution. These themes indicate areas where documented institutional standards may be beneficial. CONCLUSION: Further research is necessary to determine the relationship of local policies, protocols, and order sets to actual organ donation practices, and to identify barriers and facilitators to improving donation rates.
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