Recently, the NIH Clinical Center Directors Annual Report was released by the National Institutes of Health. The NIH Clinical Center is the “world’s largest hospital completely dedicated to clinical research”. In addition to detailing this year’s achievements, this year marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Clinical Center, and a range of historical research and milestones are presented. A more detailed description of past advances can be seen here. The Center is located in Bethesda, Maryland and overseen by its 8th Director, John I. Fallin, MD. Their operating budget was $397.6 million and employed almost 2,000 staff for fiscal 2013.
The Mission of the Clinical Center is to provide a versatile clinical research environment enabling the NIH mission to improve human health by:
- Investigating the pathogenesis of disease;
- Conducting first-in-human clinical trials with an emphasis on rare diseases and diseases of high public health impact;
- Developing state-of-the-art diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic interventions;
- Training the current and next generations of clinical researchers; and,
- Ensuring that clinical research is ethical, efficient, and of high scientific quality.
The Center also describes patient and protocol information for the past year:
- 499 PIs
- 1,570 active Protocols
- 162 new Protocols
- 10,196 New Patients
- 102,115 Outpatient visits
- 5,887 Admissions
Protocols by Research Type (From Report):
- Opened doors of the Clinical Center to extramural investigators through a new NIH grant mechanism which will enable the Clinical Center to be a conduit of team-based, cross-disciplinary science using our state-of-the-art biomedical resources and unique patient population.
- Recognized by the Partnership for Public Service for earning the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals top award “Federal Employee of the Year” for novel use of whole genome sequencing of multi-drug resistant bacterium to trace the etiology of an infection.
- Developed advanced imaging techniques to improve diagnosis of obstetric brachial plexus palsy, a common birth-related injury, and to provide low-dose computed tomographic (CT) scans as an alternative to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosis of heart disease.
Patient Care and Safety:
- Introduced new technologies, including Online patient portal, providing patients access to their medical records from any location
- Smart TVs, giving patients finger-touch access to email, social media, TV shows
- Bar coding, assuring accurate matching between clinical interventions and patients
- Expanded collaborations with NIH institutes to enhance the overall patient experience, including pre-registration to simplify the admissions process, on-campus access and amenities, and other logistics related to clinical study participation at the Clinical Center.
Training and Workforce Development:
- Held first NIH Clinical Fellows Day fostering networking, career guidance, scientific publishing, and grant applications and patient safety in clinical research.
- Received continued full accreditation for 12 years by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for 18 graduate medical education programs on the NIH campus in collaboration with nine NIH Institutes and Centers.
- Established the Veterans Incentive Program, offering veteran corpsmen and medics the opportunity for training in a unique setting while pursuing a nursing degree