News Release 

Researchers set the stage to improve the efficiency of living kidney donor evaluations

American Society of Nephrology

Research News


  • Certain indicators may be used to monitor and improve the performance of transplant centers in how efficiently they evaluate individuals interested in becoming living kidney donors.

Washington, DC (September 24, 2020) -- Living kidney donation rates have remained stagnant over the last decade, and many potential living donors perceive the evaluation process to be lengthy and difficult to navigate. Researchers recently identified indicators that may be used to monitor and improve the performance of transplant centers in how efficiently they evaluate individuals interested in becoming living kidney donors. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN.

For the study, a team led by Steven Habbous, PhD and Amit Garg, MD, PhD (Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute, both in Canada) surveyed 77 participants, including kidney transplant recipients and recipient candidates, living kidney donors and donor candidates, healthcare providers, and healthcare administrators.

The investigators identified various process indicators (those that measure how healthcare is delivered--for example, the average time it takes to evaluate a donor candidate) and outcome indicators (those that measure aspects related to transplantation--for example, the annual number of living kidney donor transplants performed).

"We were hoping to achieve a set of meaningful and impactful metrics that can be used to drive health system improvement. Because of the dedication and engagement of people involved with living donation, we were able to identify a diverse set of quality indicators that spans multiple domains," said Dr. Habbous. "These metrics can be used to compare the performance of transplant centers. Reasons for lower performance can be identified and targeted for quality improvement."

The researchers expect that doing so will improve the efficiency of living donor evaluations and translate into increased living kidney donations.


An accompanying Patient Voice editorial provides the insights of a mother who was disqualified as a living donor for her daughter due to an underlying health issue.

Study co-authors include Lianne Barnieh, PhD, Kenneth Litchfield, MA, Susan McKenzie, MA, Marian Reich Bed, Ngan N. Lam MD, MSc, Istvan Mucsi, PhD, MD, Ann Bugeja, MD, Seychelle Yohanna MD, MSc, Rahul Mainra, MD, Kate Chong, Daniel Fantus, MD, GV Ramesh Prasad, PhD, MBBS, Christine Dipchand, MSc, MD, Jagbir Gill, MPH, MD, and Leah Getchell, MA.

Disclosures: This project, including patient partnerships, was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Kidney Foundation of Canada grants awarded to CAN-SOLVE CKD (Canadians Seeking Solutions and Innovations to Overcome Chronic Kidney Disease), a patient-orientated research network to transform the care of people affected by kidney disease. Dr. Habbous is supported by the CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Doctoral Scholarship (GSD 140313). Dr. Garg is supported by the Dr. Adam Linton Chair in Kidney Health Analytics and a CIHR Clinician Investigator Award. Data collection was funded by an operating grant from the CIHR, which included some partnership operating grant support from Astellas. Dr. Bugeja reports grants from LeoPharma, outside the submitted work.

The article, titled "A RAND-modified Delphi on key indicators to measure the efficiency of living kidney donor candidate evaluations," will appear online at on September 24, 2020, doi: 10.2215/CJN.03780320.

The Patient Voice editorial, titled "Improving the Evaluation Process for Potential Living Kidney Donor Candidates," will appear online at on September 24, 2020, doi: 10.2215/CJN.13470820.

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