NIH Clinical Center

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In 2004 we:

Began moving into our new research hospital. The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical
Research Center will continue the Clinical Center’s long tradition of being a place
for patients who have begun to lose hope — a national home for great minds dedicated
to discovering new approaches to preventing and treating disease. The largest hospital
in the world dedicated totally to clinical research (research involving patients), the
Hatfield Center will provide hope not just for the patients who come to the facility as
volunteer partners in research, but for citizens around the world, whose lives are
changed when that research advances medical knowledge.

Launched CRIS. Years of planning, development, and training went into the changeover from our 28-year-old medical information system (MIS) to the core medical system at the heart of our new electronic Clinical Research Information System (CRIS). A user-friendly system that links many subsystems, CRIS provides a range of reliable new electronic services. One part of it, ProtoType, can be used to author protocols and will eventually be useful for tracking protocol approvals and changes. A new nutrition system improves access to clinical nutrition services, enabling all patients to order meals “room service” style.

Strengthened training for clinical researchers. Building the infrastructure for training the nation’s next generation of clinical researchers helps increase the pool of clinical researchers with expertise in various specialties. NIH’s core curriculum in clinical research includes four mandatory courses directed at improving how clinical research is conceived, conducted, and monitored. Matriculation in curriculum courses continued to grow in 2004, and courses were videocast to 24 sites nationally and internationally.

A new Clinical Fellows Committee representing all institutes was established and meets with the Clinical Center director. In 2004, the fellows proposed a new position to bridge the fellow experience and tenure-track positions and developed a survey to assess patient care and the fellows’ experiences.

Improved patient services. By improving our services to patients, we make it easier for patients to undertake the extended stays or frequent visits so important for clinical research. New resources for our patients will include a computer at every bedside, giving them access to information on hospital services and amenities and on patients’ rights and responsibilities. A business center will give patients additional resources to sustain their regular lives while they participate in research.

Formed partnerships for disaster planning. In partnership with two
neighboring institutions, the National Naval Medical Center and Suburban Hospital, we participated in a joint drill to test the partnership’s communications, transportation, and surge capacity, in line with NIH’s commitment to being prepared for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.

NIH Clinical Research Center interior
NIH Clinical Research Center interior
Patient with nurse
Family lodge
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