Donor Network of Arizona’s goal is to help families make their best decisions in their worst moment.
This statement guides all of our conversations with families. We find when Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) and hospital personnel follow a planned pathway to the donation conversation, we are providing the best possible opportunity for a family to consider donation based upon their values and beliefs. A planned pathway includes:
- A timely referral so that communication can begin early
- Notification to DNA if the family is beginning to make end-of-life decisions, if brain death testing is being considered or if there is a worsening of the patient’s condition
- Huddle with DNA to develop an agreed-upon plan to introduce donation to the family
- For telephone conversations: Provide contact information for the family, so DNA can stay in contact in case they leave the hospital
A hospital’s early communication with a family should focus on the treatment and condition of the patient. Your delivery of consistent and understandable information throughout the patient’s stay is the foundation for a good donation conversation.
When DNA staff, usually a donation and family advocate for organ, tissue and cornea donation, or a family services advocate for tissue and cornea donation, meets the family in-person or via telephone, we are building upon the relationship of trust and respect the family has already established with hospital staff. When it is appropriate, hospital staff will introduce DNA to the family as planned.
In our conversation with families, we will be able to answer any questions they may have and explore the donation decision with them in an in-depth conversation. We are trying to help families move beyond a reaction to the death of their loved one, to a considered and thoughtful decision about donation.