Digital donor record aims to enhance the organ donation process

14 July, 2014

Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash has announced a new national clinical information system to streamline organ and tissue donation processes across Australian hospital networks.

She said the DonateLife Electronic Donor Record (EDR) was an important step forward to improve information gathering and sharing between hospitals.
"The system will expedite the process of the allocation and assessment of the viability and suitability for organ and tissue acceptance," Nash said.
The EDR is a clinical information system used by donation specialists and replaces a manual paper-based record system. It provides real-time access to essential information about organ donors from the donor referral, organ offer, donor management and organ retrieval processes.
The Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) commissioned the development of the EDR in close consultation with the donation and transplantation sector. The EDR went live nationally from July 1 this year.
From a clinical perspective, the EDR makes comprehensive donor referral data, medico-social history and family consent information readily available for consideration by transplant units and donation coordination specialists in a consistent format.
"The EDR replaces a 28-page paper-based form known as the Confidential Donor Referral Form. Donor coordinators would then spend many hours making phones calls and coordinating information with transplant units to identify a suitable recipient," Nash said.
"The roll-out of the system will ultimately benefit Australians awaiting a transplant, donor families and donation and transplantation specialists," Nash said. 
"Time and access to consistent information are crucial factors in facilitating the organ donation and transplant process."
In 2013, 1,122 Australian transplant recipients benefited from the generosity of 391 deceased organ donors and their families who supported their decision to become organ donors. In addition, in 2013 over 5,000 Australians received corneal or tissue transplants from tissue donors.
The EDR is a clinical platform for donation specialists. It is a separate system to the Australian Organ Donor Register – the national database of people who register their intentions to be organ and tissue donors. To register your decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor, visit the DonateLife website.