The Clinical Center adheres to the highest standards in the conduct of its clinical research, delivery of patient care services and clinical research education. This assures safe, quality patient care and the highest level of clinical research practices. Several organizations guide the overall Clinical Center operations through the evaluation and accreditation processes.
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
ACGME is responsible for the accreditation of graduate medical training programs within the United States. Accreditation is accomplished through a peer review process and is based upon established standards and guidelines. Both individual training programs and the primary institution are reviewed on an approximately five-year cycle by ACGME. The NIH and Clinical Center are institutional sponsors of 16 ACGME-accredited programs. An institutional site visit and document review were conducted in May 2002. The reviewer met with members of the NIH Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC), consisting of the 16 program directors and the acting director of the NIH Office of Education, co-chairs of the GMEC who prepared all of the review documents, and the NIH and Clinical Center leadership. The NIH and Clinical Center received a favorable review with institutional reaccreditation. A resurvey is planned in five years.
Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP)
AAHRPP works to protect the rights and welfare of research participants by fostering and advancing the ethical and professional conduct of persons and organizations that engage in research with human participants. As part of a pilot test to develop an accreditation process for human subjects research, an AHRPP team evaluated the clinical research programs at the Clinical Center. The evaluation team met with Clinical Center staff, NIH institute representatives and researchers and observed more than a dozen NIH Institutional Review Board sessions. The team was favorably impressed with how the Clinical Center conducts biomedical research. The pilot test served to enhance AAHRPP's efforts to establish a "gold seal," and the process necessary to reach that threshold signifying adherence to a rigorous set of human protection standards.
College of American Pathologists (CAP)
The Clinical Center's department of Laboratory Medicine was accredited "with distinction" in 2002 by the CAP. The peer-to-peer inspection is conducted every two years as part of the CAP's Commission on Laboratory Accreditation. In 2002, the commission added the terms "with distinction" to mark laboratories that passed the rigorous criteria with especially high marks. The Clinical Center's Department of Laboratory Medicine is one of more than 6,000 nationwide CAP-accredited laboratories. The accreditation program began in the early 1960s and is recognized by the federal government as being equal to, or more stringent than, its own inspection program. The CAP is a medical society serving 15,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world.
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
JCAHO is an independent, not-for-profit organization that sets the standards by which healthcare quality is measured both nationally and internationally. It evaluates the quality and safety of care for more than 17,000 healthcare organizations. To maintain and earn accreditation, organizations must have an extensive onsite review by a team of JCAHO healthcare professionals at least once every three years. The review's purpose is to evaluate the organization's performance in areas that affect patient care.
JCAHO Survey - Public Information Notice