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Liver Transpl. 2005 Sep;11(9):1080-5.

Quality assurance, efficiency indicators and cost-utility of the evaluation workup for liver transplantation.

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Liver Transplant Unit, University of Pisa, Cisanello Hospital, Pisa, Italy.


We report the results of a retrospective review of the outpatient pretransplantation workup for United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) 3 patients adopted at a liver transplantation (LT) center and illustrate the efficiency indicators used for quality evaluation and cost-analysis. A single-center, pre-LT evaluation workup was performed on an outpatient basis at a cost per patient evaluation of 2,770 Euros (). Objective measures were: the number of patients admitted to and excluded from each phase of the algorithm; the rate of patients admitted to pre-LT evaluation out of the total of referred patients (the referral efficiency rate); the rate of waitlisted patients out of those admitted to pre-LT evaluation (the evaluation efficiency rate); the rate of waitlisted patients out of those referred for LT (the process efficiency rate); and the cost per waitlisted patient, as the ratio of the cost per patient evaluation to the evaluation efficiency rate. From January 1, 1996, to October 1, 2004, 1,837 patients were referred for LT on an outpatient basis. Based on preemptive evaluation of the available clinical data, 412 patients (22.4%) were excluded from pre-LT evaluation and 1,425 (77.6%) were admitted to preliminary consultation. Among these, 603 (42.3%) were excluded from and 822 (57.7%) were admitted to pre-LT evaluation with a referral efficiency rate of 44.7% (822 of 1,837). Out of the patients evaluated for LT, 484 were waitlisted with a cost-utility and evaluation efficiency rate of 58.8% each (484 of 822). Of the 1,837 patients originally addressed for LT 484 were waitlisted, yielding a process efficiency rate of 26.3% (484 of 1,837) and a cost per waitlisted patient of 4,710.8. In conclusion, the 3 indicators allowed monitoring of the efficiency of the pre-LT evaluation algorithm. The current process efficiency rate at our center is low (26.3%), but avoiding early referrals we might increase it to 31.6%, with a 12% net saving on costs per waitlisted patient (from 4,710.8 to 4,165.4).

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