UC Davis Kidney Transplant Program among top-rated in nation

HealthGrades presentation to UC Davis officials © UC Regents
On hand for the presentation of the Kidney Transplant Excellence award were, from left, Allan Qualls and Ann Stajuhar of HealthGrades; Vincent Johnson, chief operating officer of UC Davis Medical Center; Angelo de Mattos, associate professor of nephrology; Debra Gage, director of clinical operations; and Chris Turner of HealthGrades.

Posted March 3, 2010

UC Davis Medical Center was rated among the top hospitals in the United States for kidney transplantation by a leading, independent health-care ratings organization.

The medical center’s Kidney Transplant Program was one of only two recipients in California, and one of just 10 in the country, to receive a Kidney Transplant Excellence Award from HealthGrades, a Colorado-based firm that analyzes publicly available data in order to rate hospitals and their programs based solely on clinical outcomes.

UC Davis’ ranking was based on data from six criteria calculated from a national database of transplantation statistics known as the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Compared to the kidney transplant programs evaluated, UC Davis had better than expected one- and three-year survival rates among its patients. The medical center’s program also had a low wait-list mortality factor, which tracks patient deaths while awaiting transplantation.

“The numbers tell the story and reflect the high quality of our entire kidney transplant program,” said Richard V. Perez, professor of surgery and director of the transplant program. “Our team of surgeons, nurses, nephrologists, donor coordinators, pharmacists, dieticians and social workers provides a full range of transplant care, from initial evaluations to all the clinical support after surgery. We also work closely with other UC Davis specialists, ranging from immunologists to cardiologists, to ensure that our patients receive the best care and live long lives with their transplants.”

Dr. Perez © UC Regents"The numbers tell the story and reflect the high quality of our entire kidney transplant program."
— Richard Perez

Along with low wait-list mortality and significantly higher patient-survival rates, the HealthGrades ranking relied on the rate at which wait-listed patients received transplants. It also reflects the medical center’s strong one- and three-year graft survival rates, which tracks how long the transplanted kidney is still functioning after transplantation.

In 2008, more than 80,000 people needed kidney transplants, but only about 16,000 of those individuals actually received one. UC Davis surgeons, who have been meeting the needs of transplant patients throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada since 1985, performed 142 kidney transplants during the 2008-09 fiscal year.

Less than five percent of America’s 5,800 hospitals perform organ transplants, considered one of the most complex and challenging areas of modern medicine.

The ratings of individual hospitals, as well as the full methodology of the analysis, can be found at http://www.healthgrades.com.