ODEQUS - Organ Donation European Quality System


Differences in the number of organ donors among hospitals cannot be explained only by the number of ICU beds or neurologic patients treated. The figures obtained are influenced by the organizational structure of donation process and how efficient it is.

ODEQUS was a three years project (October 2010-December 2013) co-financed by the European Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC20091108) which aimed to define a methodology to evaluate the organ procurement performance at hospital level.


ODEQUS specific objectives were to identify Quality Criteria (QC) and to develop Quality Indicators (QI) in 3 types of organ donation: after Brain Death, after Cardiac Death and Living Donation. Those tools will be useful for hospitals self-assessment, external evaluation as well as for developing an European auditing model.

In order to do so, a consortium has been established involving 14 associated partners from Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom, and 5 collaborating partners from Greece, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia and Turkey.

Afterwards, the project has been established in three steps:

  1. Design of a survey about the use of quality tools in a wide sample of European hospitals.
  2. Development of QC and QI by the project experts. The main fields considered have been organizational structures, clinical procedures and outcomes.
  3. Elaboration of an evaluation system to test the QI in European hospitals.

Moreover, two types of training have been designed and performed: one concerns the development of QC and QI, while another is focused on how to use evaluation tools.


The project has achieved so far to identify 130 Quality Criteria and develop 30 Quality Indicators (structure, process and outcomes). Those indicators have been tested in 12 European hospitals by means of internal and external evaluations.

The achievement of similar results in different evaluations performed, demonstrates that the Quality Indicators created are effective to measure the hospitals quality performance in organ donation.