NIH Clinical Center

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NIH mark National Institutes of Health 2003 Clinical Center Profile

Skip left navigation list link group.Contents

Introduction

Message from the Director

Historical Highlights

Clinical Center Governance and Accreditation

Organizational Structure and Programs

The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center

Preparing for the Clinical Research Center Activation

The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge

Clinical Research Initiatives

Clinician Highlight

Clinical Research Training Programs

Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiatives

Public Outreach

End of left navigation list link group.

Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiatives
Photo: Team NIH members, 400 strong, braved the heat and humidity on June 1 to run and walk 3.1 miles in the National Race for the Cure in Washington, DC.

Team NIH members, 400 strong, braved the heat and humidity on June 1 to run and walk 3.1 miles in the National Race for the Cure in Washington, DC. A field of 70,000 racers took to the streets in support of breast cancer research and related women’s health initiatives.

Strategic Planning
An external review of the Clinical Center’s operations was commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services in 1996. As a result of that review effort a major recommendation was made for the Clinical Center to engage in strategic planning. Each year subsequent to the review the Clinical Center has conducted a thorough environmental assessment of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It has also instituted a formal, ongoing strategic planning process that has increased emphasis on optimizing performance, enhancing customer satisfaction and producing results. Goals established in an annual Clinical Center Strategic and Operating Plan represent the highest priority concerns facing the Center and provide a guiding framework for how the Clinical Center’s work is carried out. Continuous reassessment of goals, strategies and an associated update of the organization’s strategic plan ensure that the Clinical Center’s focus remains relevant, timely and responsive to the priorities facing the NIH Institutes, and consequently the Clinical Center.

Photo: José Rosado-Santiago and Maria Rudulovic were the first interpreters to be hired by the Clinical Center

José Rosado-Santiago and Maria Rudulovic were the first interpreters to be hired by the Clinical Center to help with the increasing international patient population.

Customer Service
Impetus for the customer service initiative, which began in 2001, was feedback from members of the Patient Advisory Group who expressed concern over variable patient and family experiences with the Clinical Center. The Board of Governors identified this issue as critical to sustained success in recruiting patients. Other factors, such as the increased use of Internet communications, patient self-referral and plans for a new Clinical Research Center furthered bolstered the momentum for this initiative. The Office of Planning and Organizational Development was charged with spearheading the customer service program and implemented a training curriculum for employees, supervisors and executive leadership. As of December 2002 a total of 2,700 individuals had been trained. In October the Clinical Center partnered with the NIH Office of Research Services (ORS) to design and implement a similar customer service program. Major accomplishments in year one of the program include:

  • a customer service performance standard for each employee’s annual performance plan,
  • a recognition program for collaborative customer service efforts,
  • implementation of department-level customer service action plans,
  • re-initiation of employee luncheons with the Clinical Center Director, and
  • completion of employee surveys.

The Clinical Center Customer Service accomplishments include better parking access for patients via a valet parking service, hospital-wide access to 24-hour-a-day interpreter/translator service, a customer-friendly makeover of the Clinical Center Director’s Office, provision of nourishment for patients who are completing blood work, and improved physical work conditions for Patient Escort Dispatch Service employees. Future plans call for customer service training during new employee orientation, training across NIH institutes, outreach to all departments, customer service training and engagement for Clinical Center physicians and institute physicians in the program, and evaluation of the departments’ use of the customer-service performance standard to motivate behavior change in employees.

Patient and Employee Surveys
Both Clinical Center employees and patients were surveyed in the spring of 2002 to assess current perceptions and determine how the organization can improve its operations. A private consulting firm specializing in designing and administering surveys provided oversight and administration and tabulated survey responses. Plans call for results from both group surveys to be reviewed by the overall organization and by each department to create specific action plans and to compare feedback from employees and patients.

Clinical Staff Recruitment
Since July 2001 the Clinical Center has been hiring nurses and allied health specialists using a Title 42 Clinical Research Support (CRS) alternative personnel system. This relatively new system is intended to promote effective staffing through timely recruitment, retention of highly qualified employees, flexible and efficient administrative processes responsive to changing program needs and labor market conditions, performance management and incentive systems that motivate and develop employees to support organizational goals, and a diverse workforce. By November 2002, 416 employees, or 30 percent of the eligible workforce, were employed under Title 42 CRS. These employees represented 36 occupations in 18 departments. They included 290 new hires (151 of whom were nurses) and 183 converting employees (126 of whom were nurses). An evaluation of Title 42 CRS in the summer of 2002 indicated that it has streamlined hiring and pay flexibility and has been an effective recruitment tool for external new hires, especially for nursing and other hard-to-fill positions. The new system has significantly reduced hiring time and increased the number of applications forwarded to managers. Of surveyed Clinical Center managers, 75 percent rated Title 42 CRS as having a moderately positive or very positive impact on the organization’s capacity to meet changing program challenges.

Workforce Distribution
The 2,210 Clinical Center employees work in different organizational function groupings as reflected below:

Pie chart shows makeup of Clinical Center by job funtion groupings (Clinical Care 35%, Admin & Ops 19%, Imaging Sciences 8%, Nursing & Patient Care 38%


Director’s Awards
The seventh annual Clinical Center Director’s awards ceremony was held in the fall of 2002. The program recognizes those individuals who make special contributions to the Clinical Center and celebrates their collective contributions—big or small, public or private. In the most recent ceremony, 92 employees were honored for their work in a variety of areas, including acquisition management, contracts, customer service, mentoring, quality of worklife/diversity, science, strategic initiatives, teaching/training, and the public health service.

Photo: Michael Alexander (left) and Officer Leonard Hamilton (right) were honored for their excellence in customer service performance.

Michael Alexander (left) and Officer Leonard Hamilton (right) were honored by their peers and congratulated by Clinical Center Director Dr. John Gallin for their excellence in customer service performance.

Quality of Worklife
The Quality of Worklife Initiative (QWI) and Diversity Council serves as a resource for employees and managers, providing educational and other tools to promote and support diversity and the quality of worklife for employees. The Council’s vision is to create a workforce culture that embraces awareness and sensitivity to quality of worklife. Its mission is to be a catalyst for promoting an inclusive workplace where all employees are valued and treated with respect and support. In 2002 the Council’s accomplishments included publishing several Clinical Center News articles on related topics; creation of a QWI/Diversity award for the Clinical Center Director’s award program; participation by council members in the NIH employee orientation fair and in other events including the Native American Pow Wow, the NIH Deaf Awareness Day Forum, the NIH Workplace Violence Prevention Committee, the NIH Disability Awareness Day Forum, American Indian/Alaskan Native Heritage Day, and the Black Family Reunion; promotion of Clinical Center and NIH events pertaining to multicultural competencies, health disparities and QWI/Disparity issues; and collecting/responding to employee questions/comments from the Clinical Center’s employee suggestion boxes. The Council’s future plans include an all-hands Diversity appreciation picnic, creation of a QWI/Diversity library and a working retreat for Council members.





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