NIH Clinical Center

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3 The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center

Mark O. Hatfield.

A student, teacher, and practitioner of American politics, Mark O. Hatfield has devoted himself to improving the human condition through a lifetime of public service. During his long career in Washington, Senator Hatfield provided strong support for biomedical research and the National Institutes of Health. Before he retired, he shepherded through the legislation Authorizing construction of the new NIH Clinical Research Center, and he is proud to be associated with it.

“This clinical research facility is so much more than bricks and mortar,” said the senator at the new hospital’s dedication on September 22, 2004. “Three thousand people will be here on a daily basis, doing translational research. As medical knowledge increases, so does hope. Writer O.S. Marden once said, ‘There is no Medicine like hope, and no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as the expectation of something.’ The people here will be creating and testing the next generation of treatments and cures, but they also will create something that’s difficult to measure: hope. With this facility, we have creted a new community of hope.”
  A videocast of the September 22, 2004, dedication
is online. Go to “Past Events” at
  “The building and gardens are beautiful.... Patients and families are going to really appreciate the open areas.”– patient Brianne Schwantes
  Special features
What’s new and different?

The Science Court, a grand, airy space — an atrium with many areas in which to meet, sit, and talk with others, and with doors exiting to two landscaped courtyards containing many seating areas.

A coffee shop, bookstore, and florist on the main floor.  
A nondenominational chapel on the seventh floor for spiritual renewal, prayer, meditation, or respite.  
A business center and kiosks throughout the building, providing additional information sources for patients, families, and visitors.  
Many special rooms: 46 rooms with dialysis capabilities, four lined with lead for patients who have received significant therapeutic doses of radioisotope, 33 with large showers for assisted bathing, nine bathrooms with tubs, and adjustable shower heads for patients for whom the standard shower head simply did not work.  
Plenty of sinks — 1500 of them — because frequent hand washing is the secret to reducing the spread of infection.  
Intensive care units with wide doors that fold open so large beds and other equipment can be moved in and out easily. (That ICUs have their own bathrooms and windows, letting in natural light, is one of the improvements most applauded by patients.)  
Lights that turn on and off automatically, and doors that open and shut automatically, as you enter and leave a room.  
Bright colors and cheerful decor in the pediatric units, with patterned lights to help children identify their rooms.  
A computer at every patient’s bedside, to provide patient information and education and eventually to allow e-mail communications.  
More conference and meeting spaces, with formal and informal gathering spaces throughout the building, on every floor, including interstitial floors.  
More nurses’ stations, closer to more patient rooms, with low tables so that patients in wheelchairs can communicate easily with nurses.  
Plenty of office and other workspace for nurses, at or near the nurses’ stations.  
A special steam turbine generator, to reduce building operating costs.  
Special card keys for security, programmed to provide access only to the areas for which the cardholder has been approved.  
Open labs, with up-to-date mechanical equipment and equipment that can carry heavy electrical loads. Adjacent to the labs, special interaction areas connecting patient care providers and the laboratories, to encourage the exchange of observations and ideas.  

As the most technologically advanced clinical research facility ever built, the Hatfield Clinical Research Center was designed to provide patient care in the service of facilitating medical advances. Patients will receive their treatment in a hospital designed to deliver the highest quality care in the best environment possible, to ensure that they will complete the full course of research and evaluation. The Clinical Center nurses — among the best educated in the world — say “there is no other hospital like it” because at the Clinical Center, in a clinical research setting, they can practice nursing the way they learned it should be practiced.

There is no other hospital like it.

Gathering area of Clinical Center.
Gathering areas encourage interaction between basic and clinical scientists and between staff and patients.
Photograph: Alan Karchmer©
Patient room.
Patient rooms are spacious enough to accommodate more patients should the need arise. Large windows let natural light flood into rooms.
Small trucks pulling tugger 
Small trucks pulling tugger devices transport food and other materials along an extra-wide corridor in the basement.
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