Transplant Rate

The transplant rate tells how many patients on a transplant program's waiting list underwent transplant per time on the waiting list. This metric appears in the search results when you search for transplant programs, in the summary data shown for each program, and in the program's full program-specific report. Start your search for a particular program using the search box at the top of the page.


Why might this metric be important to me?

The transplant rate is a measure of how frequently patients on a program’s waiting list undergo transplant. Programs with higher transplant rates tend to perform transplants more frequently than programs with lower transplant rates. When comparing programs, you may want to consider which programs perform transplants at higher rates than other programs. However, keep in mind that differences may be due to differences in the types of patients on the waiting list or simply to random variation, and may not represent meaningful distinctions across programs.

What do the numbers mean?

The transplant rate tells you the number of patients who underwent transplant for every 100 patients who were on the waiting list during a year. Not every program has 100 patients on its waiting list, and many programs have many more. To make it easier to compare numbers across programs, the rate is given “per 100 patient-years,” which means that the rate is normalized for each program to what it would be if the program had 100 patients on its list for a year. For example, a transplant rate of 5 per 100 patient-years means that for every 100 patients on the list during a year, the program performs transplants in 5. Because this is a normalized rate, the number may include a decimal, for example, 5.1 per 100 patient-years. This means that we may expect slightly more than 5 patients to undergo transplant for every 100 patients on the list during a year.

What does the comparison to the national transplant rate mean?

To provide context for each program’s transplant rate, we show the transplant rate for all patients on the national waiting list. If the program’s transplant rate is higher or lower than the national transplant rate, the program performs transplants in its patients at a higher or lower rate than transplants performed in all patients nationally. Differences between the program’s transplant rate and the national transplant rate may be due to differences in the types of patients on a program's waiting list; for example, patients may be more difficult to match with a donor than the national average, or differences may be due to random variation rather than meaningful distinctions. We provide an assessment of whether the difference is likely statistical noise or a truly higher or lower rate than the national rate, after taking into consideration the types of patients on the program's waiting list.

How is this metric calculated?

The transplant rate is calculated by considering all patients on the program’s waiting list at any time during a one-year period. We count the number of days each patient was on the waiting list during that period. We then count how many patients were removed from the list because they underwent transplant at the program (transplants at a different program are not counted). We then divide the number of transplants performed at the program by the total number of days the patients were on the waiting list and standardize this to a rate per 100 patient-years. The following table provides an example of the calculation:

 

Number of patients on the program’s waiting list at any time during the one-year period:

340

Total number of days patients were on the waiting list during the one-year period:

93,500

Number of patients removed from the waiting list because they underwent transplant at the program during the one-year period:

31

Rate per one patient-day:

31/93,500 = 0.00033155 transplants per patient per day of waiting

Standardized to rate per 100 patient-years:

31*36,525/93,500 = 12.1 transplants per 100 patient-years of waiting

 

What are some things I should think about when interpreting the transplant rate?

The transplant rate provides an overall summary of how quickly patients undergo transplant at this program. Many characteristics specific to you may increase or decrease the time you wait to receive a suitable organ for transplant. Your care team can discuss those specific characteristics and how they may affect your waiting time.

Where can I find more information?

For more information, you can refer to the analytic methods used to construct the program-specific reports, or contact SRTR.

Click to return to the Guide to Key Transplant Program Metrics, or visit the other articles: