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Organ and Tissue Donation Standards for Deceased Donors

Organ and Tissue Donation Standards for Deceased Donors

$100.00 CAD

Accreditation Canada's sector- and service-based standards help organizations assess quality at the point of service delivery and embed a culture of quality, safety, and client- and family-centred care into all aspects of service delivery. The standards are based on five key elements of service excellence: clinical leadership, people, process, information, and performance.

Accreditation is one of the most effective ways for organizations to regularly and consistently examine and improve the quality of their services. The standards provide a tool for organizations to embed accreditation and quality improvement activities into their daily operations with the primary focus being on including the client and family as true partners in service delivery.

Client- and family-centred care is an approach that guides all aspects of planning, delivering and evaluating services. The focus is always on creating and nurturing mutually beneficial partnerships among the organization’s team members and the clients and families they serve. Providing client- and family-centred care means working collaboratively with clients and their families to provide care that is respectful, compassionate, culturally safe, and competent, while being responsive to their needs, values, cultural backgrounds and beliefs, and preferences (adapted from the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) 2008 and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health 2011).

Accreditation Canada has adopted the four values that are fundamental to this approach, as outlined by the IPFCC, and integrated into the service excellence standards. The values are:

  1. Dignity and respect: Listening to and honouring client and family perspectives and choices. Client and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care. 
  2. Information sharing: Communicating and sharing complete and unbiased information with clients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Clients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  3. Partnership and participation: Encouraging and supporting clients and families to participate in care and decision making to the extent that they wish.
  4. Collaboration: Collaborating with clients and families in policy and program development, implementation and evaluation, facility design, professional education, and delivery of care.


The Organ and Tissue Donation Standards for Deceased Donors apply to acute care organizations that have a donation team. Throughout the standards, the term "organization" is used and refers to the hospital. The "donation team" includes the donation coordinator, who may be an employee of an organ procurement organization (OPO), physicians, nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists, spiritual advisors, and dieticians. The standards cover the following continuum of service: caring for deceased donors once they have been identified and referred to the OPO to retrieving the specific organs or tissues. 
These standards include references to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards entitled Cells, Tissues, and Organs for Transplantation and Assisted Reproduction: General Requirements (Z900.1-03) and two subset standards: Tissues for Transplantation (Z900.2.2-03) and Perfusable Organs for Transplantation (Z900.2.3-03). 

The Organ and Tissue Donation Standards for Deceased Donors comply with Health Canada's Safety of Human Cells, Tissues and Organs for Transplantation Regulations.

This set of standards contains the following sections:

  • Investing in quality services
  • Building a prepared and competent team 
  • Assessing the suitability of donors in a consistent and sensitive manner
  • Recovering organs and tissues safely and effectively
  • Caring for families following donation
  • Providing safe and effective services 
  • Maintaining accessible and efficient information systems 
  • Monitoring quality and achieving positive outcomes 

In alignment with provincial laws and regulations, certain functions and requirements addressed in these standards fall under the jurisdiction of provincial Organ Procurement Organizations. In some provinces, legislation outlines that the Organ Procurement Organization is designated and authorized to carry out specific responsibilities related to the coordination of organ and tissue donation and transplant. As part of the accreditation process, it is important for organizations to involve their donation and transplant stakeholders and partners in order to meet the standards

All Accreditation Canada standards are developed through a rigorous process that includes a comprehensive literature review, consultation with a standards working group or advisory committee comprised of experts in the field, and evaluation by client organizations and other stakeholders. 

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