Innovation in Transplant – You’ve come a long way baby!

The Father of Organ Transplant

Earlier this month, Dr. Thomas Starzl, the father of organ transplantation, died at the age of 90. In reading an article about all that he did to ultimately discover what was needed to successfully transplant organs, one cannot help but to be awed by the uncertainty and risk that he needed to “work around” in order to make progress. I can think of much smaller areas of uncertainty in my life that stop me in my tracks and force me to procrastinate decisions than what he had to face every day in his professional life.

Since his discoveries and strengthened by the work of many other respected clinicians in the area of transplant, transplant operations take place hundreds of times a year in hundreds of different medical centers throughout the country. The knowledge that Dr. Starzl was missing in the early days is now common knowledge. Pre-transplant patients are measured, measured, and measured again to determine their place on the wait-list and to be sure they are ready and able to accept a new organ when it becomes available. Post-transplant, they continued to be measured and monitored to be sure organs are not rejected and infections do not undermine the miraculous work that has been done.

Information is of the utmost importance in transplant. What Dr. Starzl had to make educated “guesses” about 50 years ago has been replaced by experience and knowledge that comes from collecting and reviewing data. The collection, assembly and review of all the individual characteristics of each individual transplant situation and assessing the outcomes of each one has resulted in improvements decisions and processes. 

To continue the improvements in transplant innovation, research is constant and all that is measured and done is tracked so that the transplant community can continue to learn and improve those decisions and processes.

Extract Systems is proud to be deployed in some of the top transplant centers in the country with the goal of helping them collect and analyze essential incoming laboratory results to make the right decisions in caring for their pre-and post-transplant patients. Our ability to quickly convert laboratory results that arrive by fax into discrete results in the EMR quickly and accurately allows these centers to use the knowledge that has been built over time starting with pioneers like Dr. Starzl. Extract Systems platform provides useful and accurate information to make the right decisions for their patients, but to also add essential discrete information to the research databases that will be used to determine further advances in the field. A salute to Dr. Starzl and to all those who continue to advance innovation in transplant!

To read more about how the Extract Platform helped UW Health Transplant automatically get discrete lab results into the EMR within minutes download this case study.

About the author: Ellen Bzomowski

With 20 years of experience in data capture and voice recognition, Ellen’s experience has focused on achieving higher efficiency and automation in getting data where it will be most useful to an organization. At Extract Systems, she continues to focus on the same ideas and works to get the word out about how Extract Systems’ advanced data capture and redaction solutions make more data valuable and accessible, while securing anything that is private. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University and lives and works in Boston.