Bulletin 15-3

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Changes to Standards and Guidance Document No. 4​

Bulletin 15-3

March 9, 2015

The Board of Governors acted on recommendations from the Standards Committee and approved changes to the 13th edition (2012) of AATB's Standards for Tissue Banking and the 1st edition (2011) of AATB's Standards for Non-transplant Anatomical Donation. Additionally, updates to Guidance Document No. 4, Providing Service to Tissue Donor Families were approved.

These changes include a new expectation for a tissue bank or a non-transplant anatomical donation organization to periodically evaluate their Services to Donor Families. Guidance Document No. 4, v2 Providing Service to Tissue Donor Families provides ideas for evaluating effectiveness of services.

For accreditation inspection purposes, the changes to standards announced in this bulletin must be implemented no later than six (6) months from today (on or before Wednesday, September 9, 2015). Compliance will be expected on this date.

For each standard updated, the links below provide printable updates. Use of "must" and "shall" in the Standards is critical when reviewing these updates. For purposes of clarity, text added is underlined, italicized, and appears as blue font (i.e., Example), and text deleted utilizes the strikethrough (i.e., Example).

Standards for Tissue Banking:

A2.000 Definitions of Terms

D2.600 Services to Donor Families

Standards for Non-transplant Anatomical Donation:

NT-A2.000 Definitions of Terms

NT-D2.600 Services to Donor Families

AATB Guidance Document No. 4, Providing Service to Tissue Donor Families was originally issued in March 2007 and has now been extensively edited and improved during a 12-month period by a group of subject matter experts (refer to the "Version 2 update" group on page 3 of the guidance). This guidance document is advisory in nature only thus has no compliance date that must be met. We hope the guidance is helpful and that attribution is made when parts are used. The following bullets provide an overview of key revisions to Guidance Document No. 4, v2 Providing Service to Tissue Donor Families:

  • Expanded the Definitions section to include updated terms such as:
    • Document of Authorization, DRAI, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
  • Expanded the Family Needs section to delineate:
    • Guidelines for interactions with the family during authorization conversation.
    • Descriptions of best listening practices such as paraphrasing and reflecting content.
  • Expanded outline of the Components of a Support Services Program to now include:
    • Process which supports communications from tissue recipients to donor families and, when possible, from donor families to recipients.
  • A new section on Gifted Tissue for Research which includes:
    • Communication suggestions to the donor family about the gift.
  • A new section, Evaluation of Services, which:
    • Outlines the expectation for a tissue bank to periodically evaluate their Services to Donor Families.
    • Includes a provision that an Experience of Care Survey could be used as a method to evaluate effectiveness of services.
  • A new Appendix of Terms to Avoid such as:
    • Body parts, cadaver, harvest, processing tissue, yield, shelf life, etc.
  • A new Appendix that describes:
    • What an Experience of Care Survey could include for evaluating effectiveness of services.

If you have any questions, please contact Scott Brubaker at the AATB Office.