Benchmarking organ procurement organizations: A national study

Yasar A. Ozcan, James W. Begun, Martha M. McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective. An exploratory examination of the technical efficiency of organ procurement organizations (OPOs) relative to optimal patterns of production in the population of OPOs in the United States. Data Sources. A composite data set with the OPO as the unit of analysis, constructed from a 1995 national survey of OPOs (n = 64), plus secondary data from the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and the United Network for Organ Sharing. Study Design. The study uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the technical efficiency of all OPOs. Principal Findings. Overall, six of the 22 larger OPOs (27 percent) are classified as inefficient, while 23 of the 42 smaller OPOs (55 percent) are classified as inefficient. Efficient OPOs recover significantly more kidneys and extrarenal organs; have higher operating expenses; and have more referrals, donors, extrarenal transplants, and kidney transplants. The quantities of hospital development personnel and other personnel, and formalization of hospital development activities in both small and large OPOs, do not significantly differ. Conclusions. Indications that larger OPOs are able to operate more efficiently relative to their peers suggest that smaller OPOs are more likely to benefit from technical assistance. More detailed information on the activities of OPO staff would help pinpoint activities that can increase OPO efficiency and referrals, and potentially improve outcomes for large numbers of patients awaiting transplants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-874
Number of pages20
JournalHealth services research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1999


  • Benchmarking
  • Efficiency
  • Organ procurement organizations
  • Performance


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