April 12, 2012

Transplant Center thriving on care quality, safety: Karp

Featured Image

Seth Karp, M.D., reviews milestones during his State of the Transplant Center Address last week. (photo by Joe Howell)

Transplant Center thriving on care quality, safety: Karp

If there was a take away message from the recent State of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center Address it would be: the transplant programs at Vanderbilt are vibrant, robust and growing.

Seth Karp, M.D., director of VTC points to patient safety and quality of care as the top reasons for the success.

“Quality drives everything,” said Karp. “Patients only come to you if your quality and outcomes are good. Patient care and safety are our ultimate goals. We take the absolute best care of our patients and it shows in our outcomes.”

Karp, who joined Vanderbilt in 2011, said the center performed nearly 400 transplants in 2011, up 60 percent since 2006.

“The trends all look terrific,” said Karp. “There has been incredible growth and we have an incredibly dedicated group of people taking care of our transplant patients.

“We are committed to growing programs in a way that maximizes quality and overall patient care.”

He applauded heart transplantation for being one of two programs in the country to post outcomes statistically higher than expected, as reported by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

The liver program received accolades for having one of the highest transplant rates among waitlist patients — nearly double what is expected by the SRTR.

The lung transplant program was also praised by Karp for its rate of wait-listed transplantations, which was significantly higher than expected by SRTR.

“Much of our success can be attributed to the commitment we have not just to the medical care of our patients, but to the psychological aspect as well as life issues and concerns,” said Karp. “No other center in the country has the broad-based educational programming that we provide.”

Programs unique to Vanderbilt’s Transplant Center include Transplant Administration MBA and Fellowship (the first of its kind); Quality; Return-to-Work; Transplant Quality of Life (a global leader); Psychology and Pharmacy Residency.

Karp noted several recent milestones including:

• The first combined heart/kidney transplant in 2008

• 1,000th liver transplant in 2009

• Berlin device (VAD) used for first time in Tennessee in a pediatric program in 2010

• Kidney transplant program surpasses 4,000 transplants in 2011

• 50th anniversary of transplantation at Vanderbilt in 2012.