Referral to CORE
In accordance with 42 CFR Part 482.5, referrals are generally made by the nurse in charge of the patient through a phone call to CORE’s donor referral center, which operates 24 hours a day 7 days per week.
According to the CMS regulations, hospitals are required to call in all imminent death referrals within one hour of a patient meeting clinical criteria for imminent death. Calling in a referral does not mean you are “giving up” on the patient. There is no penalty for referring a patient that does not die or does not have the potential to be a donor.
When CORE receives a phone call, a set of standard procedures is initiated.
First, the identities of the referring organization, referring individual and the potential donor are established and verified.
Next, the referral center staff, also known as a donor referral coordinator, queries the state donor registry to determine if the patient has registered as an organ or tissue donor.
At the same time, the patient is preliminarily screened for conditions that rule out the prospect of organ donation.
What You Need to Know About the OPO Donor Referral Center
Calling the OPO with a referral can sometimes be time consuming. The conversation is typically highly detailed. Furthermore, the donor referral center is extremely busy, receiving hundreds of referral calls each day. In an average year, CORE receives over 35,000 calls. Callers may be put on hold before the donor referral coordinator can talk to them.
In addition to receiving referrals, the donor referral coordinators are trained to seek authorization for tissue and eye donation. They document evidence of donation decisions of the deceased and/or their families.
The coordinators are also involved in the allocation of all recovered organs throughout the United States and Canada through UNet, the national computerized distribution network of transplant hospitals and OPOs. In addition, they assist the transplant centers in their donation service areas (DSAs) in importing organs from other OPOs or from outside the country. Working closely with the procurement coordinators, the donor referral coordinators also coordinate with the surgical teams for within-DSA and outside-DSA organ recovery, and arrange transportation of organs. LEARN MORE