The United Nations Organ Sharing Network on Wednesday asked the Federal Information Technology Agency to inspect the computer system. It’s been over a year since the agency criticized him for calling UNOS technology seriously outdated.
Richmond-based UNOS has engaged U.S. Digital Services to complete a review of the system. UNOS has contracts with the federal government to oversee kidney, lung and other organ transplants across the United States. The nonprofit is in the midst of a congressional investigation for shortcomings in its performance.
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USDS is the technology arm of the White House. UNOS has defended its IT infrastructure, but so far has not asked USDS to inspect it.
In 2021, the USDS criticized UNOS technology in a draft report, saying it required staff to manually enter data, leading to errors. UNOS says it operates its own data centers instead of putting information on cloud computing. According to the report, UNOS determined that it was too expensive or too difficult to modernize its technology.
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A draft of the report was released last summer, just before congressional hearings.
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DonorNet, the software that links UNOS to hospitals and organ procurement organizations, is outdated and slow, Mid-America Transplant CEO Diane Brockmeier told Congress in August.
At a congressional hearing, then-CEO of UNOS, Brian Shepherd, defended the technology, saying UNOS computers work 99.9 percent of the time. He said the network was down only once he was over an hour. He acknowledged the need to automate data entry.
Shepard resigned in the fall. Maureen McBride has been appointed interim CEO.
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“It is our responsibility to ensure that all available resources are utilized to continuously improve the strength and security of the system,” UNOS leaders wrote in a letter to USDS.