Tool provides electronic record of potential organ donors in Kentucky
Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) officials recently announced the creation of a new electronic state organ donor registry, which is available through the circuit court clerks’ offices.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher and the Kentucky General Assembly strongly supported the new registry, which will provide an electronic database of everyone in Kentucky who has indicated his or her wish to become an organ donor. The registry is designed to improve the speed of identifying possible organ donors.
“Sadly, far too many Kentuckians are on a waiting list to receive an organ transplant that could potentially save their lives,” said Gov. Fletcher. “As governor and as a physician, I am keenly aware of how important organ donation is to a brighter, healthier future for Kentuckians. That’s why I feel that creating a state organ donor registry is so important.”
By law, organ donation is the right of every American age 18 and older. Physicians and hospitals are legally obligated to identify potential donors and to inform families of their right to donate. It’s important that those who sign the back of their driver’s license indicating their wish to be an organ donor make their intentions known to their families and loved ones to prevent confusion at the time of their death.
Dr. William Hacker, DPH commissioner, cited the electronic registry as an example of how information technology can be integrated into health care.
Hacker said the registry will assist families whose loved ones have indicated their wish to become an organ donor.
“Sometimes, an individual does not inform their next-of-kin of their wish to be an organ donor and that wish goes unfulfilled. By adding their name to the registry – which can be accessed by health care organizations in minutes – the possibility of confusion is eliminated,” said Hacker.
DPH worked closely with the Trust for Life, a nonprofit organization created to promote organ donation in Kentucky, to develop the organ donor registry.
Names will be entered into the registry in Circuit Court Clerks’ offices, where driver’s licenses are obtained and renewed. The state Transportation Cabinet also was instrumental in the creation of the registry.
To learn more about the organ donor registry, visit the Trust for Life’s Web site, www.donatelifeky.org.