Hospitals and TGLN working together to make strides in organ donation

GTA's William Osler Health System shows big improvement in performance

TORONTO, June 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Efforts made to better integrate organ and tissue donation with end-of-life care have led to significant improvements in donation performance for William Osler Health System and other hospitals.

New data for fiscal year 2013/14 on hospitals notifying TGLN of potential organ and tissue donation cases (routine notification rate) and the number of potential donors who become organ donors (conversion rate) is now available on Trillium Gift of Life Network's website, http://www.giftoflife.on.ca/en/publicreporting.htm

William Osler Health System (Osler), with sites in Brampton and North Etobicoke, is one of the hospitals that has achieved the most significant improvements in organ and tissue donation performance in the last quarter (January 1March 31, 2014).  Its routine notification rate increased from an average of 75 per cent for the first three quarters of fiscal year 2013/14 to 94 per cent in the last quarter. Similar improvements in conversion rate were achieved from 33 per cent to 80 per cent.

 "As part of our commitment to ongoing quality improvement, Osler has undertaken a number of efforts to improve our organ and tissue donation performance over the last six months," said Joanne Flewwelling, Executive Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive, William Osler Health System. "Osler staff and physicians remain dedicated to this important work and will continue to build on these positive changes to help save more lives."

Key changes that have led to improved donation performance at Osler include:

  • Follow up on all potential organ donors by Dr. Alex MacMillan, Osler's Physician Lead for Organ and Tissue donation, who is working closely with TGLN's Regional Medical Lead.
  • The physician team working to ensure organ and tissue donation is a part of end-of-life care.
  • The adoption of TGLN's clinical triggers, which guide staff in the ICU on when to call TGLN about potential donors.
  • The implementation of a new process that prompts staff to notify TGLN when a patient has died.

"TGLN strongly commends William Osler Health System and our other hospital partners on their efforts to better integrate organ and tissue donation into end-of-life care," says Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. "Improvements in donation performance at hospitals will help ensure that Ontarians at end-of-life have the opportunity to save lives through the gift of organ and tissue donation."

Other hospitals that have made gains in their routine notification rates over the last quarter include Joseph Brant Hospital and Cambridge Memorial Hospital.  Among the hospitals with high organ donation potential, St. Michael's Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences and London Health Sciences Centre had the highest conversion rates during fiscal year 2013/14.

The compassion and generosity of 223 deceased organ donors and their families supported by Ontario's hospitals, transplant programs and Trillium Gift of Life Network contributed to 964 lives being saved through organ transplantation in Ontario in fiscal year 2013/14. 

Ontario residents can help save lives by registering their consent to donate organs and tissue at end of life at www.beadonor.ca

Quick Facts:


  • Only 2-3 per cent of hospital deaths occur in circumstances that permit organ donation.
  • To be able to facilitate organ donation, a hospital must have the capacity to sustain a patient on a ventilator for a continued period of time.
  • Donation performance data including routine notification and conversion rates, by hospital is available at http://www.giftoflife.on.ca/en/publicreporting.htm.
  • One donor can save up to 8 lives and enhance up to 75 others through tissue donation.
  • You can register consent for organ and tissue donation at www.beadonor.ca.

Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved.

SOURCE: Trillium Gift of Life Network

For further information: Danielle Milley, Trillium Gift of Life Network, (o) 416-619-2363, (c) 416-689-7711, dmilley@giftoflife.on.ca; Cara Francis, William Osler Health System, P: 905-494-2120 ext. 59467, cara.francis@williamoslerhs.ca

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