Skip to main content

All Access Subscription

Get unlimited access to our full publication and article library.

Get Access Now

Interested in Group Sales? Learn more

Hospital Report logo small


The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

AHA checklist: Increase organ donations. Save lives.

Joy Daughtery Dickinson is executive editor of the Hospital Group of publications at AHC Media in Atlanta and long-time editor and writer of Same-Day Surgery. She has won eight national awards from the Specialized Information Publishers Association and the Association of Business Information & Media Companies for her blogging, news writing, and editing. She makes her home in southwest Georgia.

Setting goals results in accomplishments. I’ve recently seen this in my own life as a set a goal of getting healthier by going to the gym for 150 minutes a week. I set up a reward system for myself. When I make to the gym 150 minutes in a week, I reward myself with something small such as flowers or a 15-minute chair massage. If I reach this goal for four weeks, I get a bigger reward, such as a pedicure or manicure. Setting these goals has motivated me to get up earlier and get to the gym.

The American Hospital Association, The Joint Commission, and other organizations that are part of the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice have set a goal, too. They want to increase the number of organ transplants by 1,000 in each of the next five years. Last year, nearly 29,000 organs were transplanted, but it wasn’t enough. More than 123,000 people are waiting for a transplant.

The Community of Practice plans to reach this goal by ensuring every individual is given the opportunity to donate. Also, when someone intends to be a donor, that designation will be honored 100% of the time. The Community of Practice will do its part to foster best practices and share them. And remember the reward part? The Community will recognize excellence in high-performing hospitals, transplant centers, and organ procedure organizations.

The end result is that more lives will be saved. And that’s a reward we all can enjoy. (For more on this topic, see our blog, “This month, solicit a different kind of donation.”)