We want to create a public-facing web page on the website with a tool that allows people to pull statistics and specific information within privacy lengths on their own. People could see how many people are registered based on their ZIP code.
Donate Life California Is Using Location-Based Technology to Save Californians' Lives
Over 110,000 people in the United States are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, with California having an 18 percent hold on the wait list. Donate Life California (DLC) is helping fulfill this need by educating communities about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation. The California state-authorized organ and tissue registry—which works with OneLegacy, the world's largest organ, eye, and tissue recovery organization—is encouraging as many people as possible to become organ donors.
Implementing GIS to Organize and Analyze Data
DLC partnered with OneLegacy to find the perfect tool, geographic information system (GIS) technology, for a faster and easier way to achieve the goal of educating potential donors. DLC is using GIS tools to organize a large amount of data, understand the demographics of current and potential donors, and analyze lifestyle data to determine where those potential donors might be located.
Donate Life California's mission is to save lives by reaching more Californians to sign up on the official state organ, eye, and tissue donor registry. In response, Donate Life California has turned to GIS to
- Motivate people to sign up as organ donors.
- Determine which areas of the state have the fewest registered donors.
- Engage with the communities the nonprofit serves.
- Provide outreach programs in diverse communities.
The organizations set out to use GIS to learn about current and potential donors' demographics and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as to educate the public about the number of people waiting for a transplant.
Donate Life California and OneLegacy previously used their own data management system, which included approximately 18 million people, making it one of the largest registries in the United States. There is a significant need for donors in California. The plan is to use both Esri data and the organizations' own registry data to examine the demographic profiles of potential donors and understand the lifestyles of those who are not registered donors.
DLC utilized ArcGIS Pro to create maps with the organizations' current data. Once the map layers were created, staff imported the data into online-based ArcGIS Business Analyst. Together these GIS tools are helping staff identify where donor participation is needed most and make data-informed decisions from the results to improve marketing campaigns in those areas. The most important questions ArcGIS Business Analyst is helping staff answer include the following:
- What are the typical demographics of donors?
- How can DLC reach those who are likely to donate?
GIS is used to create spatial representations of data in the form of maps, globes, and charts. Visualizing information geographically allows for the discovery of relationships, patterns, and trends that can be used to inform the organization and, later, residents. DLC is working with a consultant who assists with the GIS and Esri components and helps Donate Life California get on the right track and use the technology in the most beneficial way.
In partnership with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Donate Life California collects donor status and demographic data on a weekly basis. When someone gets or renews a driver's license and checks yes to be a registered donor, DLC receives information from the DMV. This information is limited to each registrant's gender, date of birth, address, and driver's license number. DLC is using ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Business Analyst to organize its large database as well as to organize and analyze the data.
"[DLC staff members had] a whole list of things they wanted to accomplish through GIS and then realized that [it] is a tool where various things can be done, and most of [them were] something DLC wasn't aware of," says Luke Smoley, business intelligence engineer, OneLegacy.
Engaging the Public with GIS
Once Donate Life California and OneLegacy complete a thorough analysis, they plan to share interactive ArcGIS maps to show residents about where their donation can make the biggest impact. To maintain donors' privacy, all results will be anonymized and kept confidential. By sharing this authoritative data, DLC's goal is to establish transparency with the public and reinforce the organization's role as an official liaison for people to become organ donors. Additionally, the data results will be imported into a dashboard organized by each California organ procurement organization's (OPO) geographic area to see where registered donors are located.
California is unique in that it has four OPOs that serve as a bridge between organ donors and patients awaiting transplants, communicate with hospital staff approaching families about donation, and help facilitate the organ donation process.
DLC recognized a need to identify the different populations that require additional education on organ donation so that the OPOs can have this data and see if one area needs more awareness than another area does and where to focus more on. "The OPOs are excited about this data and using Esri to see what can be implemented and done," Smoley says.
Donate Life California's vision is to inspire other nonprofit organizations, including other Donate Life America chapters across the country, to use GIS to better understand and impact their communities. The organization's GIS work will continue to increase community engagement by educating more people everywhere—especially in areas with fewer donors—about how the organ donor process works and how they can help DLC by raising awareness or becoming an advocate.