Technical Assistance

For PSRs, OSRs, and SAMs

SRTR staff work diligently to answer questions regarding the program-specific and OPO-specific reports as we receive them through the SRTR help line or email address. Occasionally, SRTR receives requests from transplant programs or OPOs to provide more detailed educational presentations, or even onsite training. SRTR will provide a basic level of support to individuals with questions regarding the methods used to produce the PSRs and OSRs. Requests for further technical assistance beyond this basic level may be made by OPOs, transplant programs, or other entities. Below is a description of the technical assistance policy, the process for requesting technical assistance, the types of technical assistance available, and their costs. In conjunction with providing technical assistance, SRTR will continue to develop educational resources regarding the PSRs and OSRs to better inform the community and minimize the need for technical assistance.


Policy

SRTR provides PSR and OSR technical assistance to help transplant programs and OPOs understand the report content, the data flow process, the concept of risk adjustment, and how metrics such as survival and donor yield are calculated. The SRTR team delivers technical assistance by phone, email, online webinars/virtual classrooms, and onsite as needed. All requests, except simple requests, for technical assistance will be reviewed by the HRSA Contracting Officer Representative (COR) before the request is fulfilled. 

Technical assistance may be requested for the following topics:

  • Program-specific data analyses for possible additional metrics not provided in the PSR/OSR. (Note: SRTR does not rerun PSRs/OSRs outside of the biannual cycles.)
  • Training in concepts and methods such as risk adjustment, Bayesian statistics, and calculation of graft and patient survival.
  • Review of a program’s data trends to help identify contributing factors to decreases in graft or patient survival.

Categories of SAM technical assistance requests:

  1. Understanding SAM documentation.
  2. Understanding SAM functionality (beyond what is specified in documentation, including reviewing the application source code).
  3. Understanding the SAM data cohort (beyond what is specified in the documentation, including reviewing the data file preparation code and SAF).
  4. Understanding organ allocation policy and procedure.
  5. Reviewing research methods/proposals (including questions about the feasibility of a given avenue of research).

Making a Request

Requests for technical assistance should be made to SRTR by filling out the form and emailing it to srtr@srtr.org. When submitting a request for technical assistance, provide the following information:

  1. Contact information: name, business/organization name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
  2. A detailed description of what you need help with.
  3. A description of why you need help.
  4. An explanation of what the help will allow you to accomplish.
  5. The primary point of contact for this request (name, email, phone) if not the person submitting the request.
  6. If the request is for training, please describe the type of training requested and why it is needed.

If the request is not clear or specific, you will be asked for additional information, which could delay the review of the request and the delivery of technical assistance. 

The Request Review Process

Requests for technical assistance will be reviewed as they are received on a first-come first-served basis. When SRTR receives a request by email, we will work with the requestor to fully understand the request and to create a finalized version of it. On receiving the finalized request, SRTR will determine whether it can be fulfilled based on the level of technical assistance needed and the available resources. If SRTR currently lacks staffing resources to fulfill the request due to pertinent staff working on SRTR contract deliverables, we may postpone or deny a request. SRTR will send a description of complex requests to the HRSA COR for review and approval. Pending HRSA review if required, we will let the requestor know whether we can fulfill the request, the approximate staff time needed, the cost, and an estimated timeframe.

See below for request levels, descriptions, and fee structures for technical assistance support.

 

Request Level

Description

Fee-structure

Simple request

A request for technical assistance that can be addressed in 4 hours or less of SRTR staff time via email or phone. No onsite consultation. No need to consult the COR.

Free

Complex request

A request for technical assistance requiring more than 4 hours of staff time. These will be accommodated only with written approval from the COR. They will be addressed via email or teleconference. No webinar-style training or onsite consultations. Simple requests that become complex requests will back-charged for the original 4 hours of support.

Staff time will be billed based on a tiered rate depending on the level of staff support required:

Masters-level support: Support will be provided by a staff member with an MPH or MS in epidemiology, biostatistics, or related field, or computer science for requests specific to software. Staff time will be billed at $125/hr.

PhD- or MD-level support: Support will be provided by a staff member with a PhD in epidemiology, biostatistics, engineering, or a related field, or an MD in the appropriate field of transplantation per the request. Staff time will be billed at $200/hr.

Request for private training via webinar.

A request for private presentations to transplant programs, OPOs, or related organizations in the field of organ donation and transplantation. These will be provided only with written approval of the COR.

Billing will be quoted and agreed upon before embarking on development of the webinar. Both development time and presentation time will be billed under the following schedule:

Masters-level support: Support will be provided by a staff member with an MPH or MS in epidemiology, biostatistics, or related field, or computer science for requests specific to software. Staff time will be billed at $125/hr.

PhD or MD-level support: Support will be provided by a staff member with a PhD in epidemiology, biostatistics, engineering, or a related field, or an MD in the appropriate field of transplantation per the request. Staff time will be billed at $200/hr.

On-site training

This includes requests for private onsite presentations to transplant programs, OPOs, or related organizations in the field of organ donation and transplantation. These will be provided only with written approval of the COR.

Billing will be quoted and agreed upon before embarking on development of the onsite training. Development time be billed under the following schedule:

 

Masters-level support: Support will be provided by a staff member with an MPH or MS in epidemiology, biostatistics, or related field, or computer science for requests specific to software. Staff time will be billed at $125/hr.

PhD or MD-level support: Support will be provided by a staff member with a PhD in epidemiology, biostatistics, engineering, or a related field, or an MD in the appropriate field of transplantation per the request. Staff time will be billed at $200/hr.

 

The requestor will cover all travel expenses consistent with generally accepted practices in addition to staff time during the onsite training.

 

Simulated Allocation Model (SAM) Technical Assistance

The fee structure will be the same but separate categories will be created to specify this type of assistance. The same form will be used for SAM requests and they will be evaluated using the same criteria as for PSR and OSR technical assistance.

Technical Assistance Form

To request technical assistance, please submit the form.