Information for referring physicians
Physicians who have a possible candidate for organ transplantation can initiate the referral process several ways:
- Call the Organ Transplant Program at 866-292-6668. This toll-free line is answered 24 hours a day. A physician from the Transplant Team is always on call.
- Call St. Luke's Heart Transplant Clinic at 414-646-5410 during regular clinic hours.
- Call St. Luke's Abdominal Transplant Clinic at 414-646-2550 during regular clinic hours.
Please note that patients will need to bring a written referral from their doctor for the initial consultation at St. Luke's Transplant Clinic.
Keeping the referring physician informed
St. Luke's Transplant Team is sensitive to the relationship between referring physicians and their patients. We understand your concerns about your patient's health, and we will keep you informed through every phase of your patient's care.
- Following your patient's initial consultative visit with a transplant physician and transplant nurse coordinator, you will receive a letter recommending whether or not the patient should proceed with the process.
- Patients who proceed will have a comprehensive evaluation and lab work-up over the course of several days. You will receive a dictated report of all test results along with the recommendation of the Patient Selection Committee. It will indicate whether your patient has met the criteria for transplantation and will be listed with UNOS - United Network of Organ Sharing. If your patient is declined, the report will detail the reasons.
- Pre-transplant candidates are seen regularly at the Transplant Clinic while they are on the UNOS waiting list. You will be faxed or mailed a copy of the clinic note from each visit along with all lab or diagnostic test results.
- Pre-transplant candidates may be admitted to Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center for inpatient care management. You will receive a dictated discharge summary for each hospitalization.
- The transplant surgeon will notify you when the transplant surgery is performed. The Transplant Clinic also will send you a copy of the discharge summary for the patient's hospitalization.
- Post-transplant patients are seen regularly on an outpatient basis in the Transplant Clinic to monitor their progress and manage their immunosuppressive drug therapy. You will receive a copy of each clinic note along with the diagnostic lab findings. If your patient is hospitalized, you will receive an in-depth dictated report and a copy of the discharge summary.
- If your patient has had a heart transplant, you will receive a copy of each biopsy report along with any medication changes that may have been instituted as a result.
Role of the referring physician
In most cases, the Transplant Physician will provide lifelong post-transplant care including immunosuppressive therapy. After an extended period of stability, some kidney transplant patients may be managed by their nephrologist. In all cases, the primary care physician remains responsible for the patient's general health before and after the transplant.
Educational material is available upon request to assist primary care physicians in the unique care of patients who have undergone organ transplantation. At an appropriate point in the post-transplant phase, it is our hope that your patient can receive some follow-up care, including blood and lab work, through your office if it is more comfortable and convenient than coming to St. Luke's Transplant Clinic.
Timely communication essential
It is expected that you will contact St. Luke's Transplant Clinic immediately if there is any change in your patient's general health or medications for conditions unrelated to transplantation. You may call your patient's transplant nurse coordinator or transplant physician directly.
A transplant physician also is accessible 24 hours of every day through the Organ Transplant Program information line, 866-292-6668.