MTS dedicated to Donor Families
Posted October 26, 2011 in Hospital Partner News
David Kendricks, like many families experiencing the death of a loved one, wasn’t ready to talk to Mid-America Transplant Services on the phone about tissue donation for his 32-year-old wife, Robin, immediately after her death.
“MTS has to call right away, of course, and that was hard because I was grieving,” David said. “But the person that called was very kind and loving. They ask all kinds of questions. I can’t even tell you the questions Michele (MTS Triage Coordinator) asked, but she was very sweet and kind. I remember telling her, “Please take care of my angel.” And she said, “We’ll take care of her, just like she is our own.” You could just hear the sincerity in her voice.
“You can tell how much Mid-America cares about the donor families. It’s a great thing.”
The donor family is of utmost importance to MTS as reflected in its Donor Satisfaction Survey results, in which donor families rate their overall satisfaction of MTS at 9.36 based on a 10-point scale.
The high satisfaction scores are thanks to the dedication of our staff and partners. These scores reflect the collaborative efforts by all.
“We’ve worked to find out what families needed from us, and ultimately determined that it is three key needs: compassion, information and stewardship,” said Suzanne Delaney, director of Family Support Services. “This learning came from focus groups that we organized in 2005 with donor families to find out what helped them make a donation decision.”
The three requirements – compassion, information and stewardship – have all seen consistently high satisfaction scores since MTS began surveying families on these topics in 2008.
The Compassion score reflects the care and kindness exhibited toward donor families. The information score indicates MTS is providing timely, accurate, and adequate information to the families to make the donation decision. Stewardship displays our commitment to taking care of the donor’s gift, and doing our absolute best to find a recipient in need of that gift.
The overall average compassion score is 9.55 for 2011, and has been over 9.40 each year since 2008; the overall average information score is 9.16, consistently rising in the last four years; and the overall average stewardship score is 9.47, never falling below 9.30 in the last four years.
“The surveys and focus groups provide the families the opportunity to teach us from their experiences and help us to improve the donation experience for all donor families. The input they provide has been the catalyst for multiple changes and has improved the services and care MTS provides,” said Center for Life program manager Merry Smith.
MTS continues its care for donor families after the donation decision through the Center for Life and memorial events like the Candlelight Memorial Ceremony held in August. Survey results indicated 98 percent found the tribute inspiring and honoring of their loved one. “It was a thoughtful, meaningful and lovely ceremony,” said one respondent. “Remarkable, it really put things in perspective.”
Through the generosity of donor families, MTS unites with physicians, nurses, and other partners to save more lives in our communities. This selfless act inspires the staff of MTS, and continually compels us to create a meaningful donation experience for all potential and actual donor families.