What is the history of the PTC?

The PTC was formed in 2006. Prior to that, every transplant – so liver, heart, lung, kidney, and intestine – they operated just to themselves. They were all silo-ed, they didn’t really work together, so the PTC was formed to create a center to bring all of these different transplant programs together. The hospital created a Transplant Administrator, Director of Nursing, and Medical Director with the goal being for us to become a collaborative center. Now all of our transplant programs share information, we share best practices, we share resources, we share staff.
The center concept also was developed to help us be able to achieve our regulatory guidelines. This is the most regulated program in the hospital. We have much stricter guidelines than any other program, because we’re regulated not only by Joint Commission, but by UNOS (the United Network for Organ Sharing) and by CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). It would have been impossible for each program to have their own policies, each program to have their own consent forms, everybody to be completely different, so we’re able to kind of create some synergy by having one program.

John Kueven, MSHA, MBA, RN, Administrator of the PTC


How many patients does the PTC see?

We have grown tremendously since we merged. We are averaging now between 55 and 65 transplants a year. As far as patients seen, we see hundreds of patients, because once you have a transplant, you’re sort of ours for the rest of your life! We’re working on transitioning adult patients to adult hospitals, so that’s certainly a goal, but our patients are continually our patients.

Kidney is by far the biggest program: they’ll usually do 20 to 25 a year. Liver’s our second largest: they’ll do somewhere around 15 to 17 a year. Heart would be our next largest, and they do between 12 and 20, and then lung, the last two years, has done 8 or 9 a year. Finally, intestine we usually only do maybe one or two a year on average.

John Kueven, MSHA, MBA, RN, Administrator of the PTC


What is the advantage of the PTC?

We all meet weekly and discuss cases and best practice and share information across the programs. For example, if the lung program has had good success with a particular medication or some sort of process, we like to share it with the other programs so the other programs can benefit from the information.
Innovations always take a little while to get to the literature, so if something’s happening within our own transplant program, we want to make sure everybody knows. Whether it’s from an infectious disease perspective or an anesthesia perspective or whatever, we have the forum where we can all share it with each other.

Laura O’Melia, RN, MSN, CPNP, Director of Transplant Nursing


What is the goal of the PTC?

The PTC was developed to take a lot of the administrative burden off the clinical programs, so that when outside surveyors came we could have a unified front, and really to help share ideas and create a community for transplant in the hospital, which didn’t really exist before.

I think we’ve done a great job on the clinical side. Our clinical outcomes and volume are great. I think that a lot of the support staff and consultation services who once felt like they weren’t really part of transplant now feel like a part of the community. And we’ve had a lot of good ideas come out of our collaborations, so we are working on the research side of things now. I think that’s really the next step. We’re doing both basic science research and clinical research on various topics. We have been able to generate good ideas through the collaboration so in terms of quality improvement initiatives, those kinds of things, it’s really increased.

Heung Bae Kim, MD, Surgical Director for Liver, Intestine, and Kidney Transplant Programs, Director of the Pediatric Transplant Center