National Jewish Recognized for Commitment to Patient Safety

National Jewish Medical and Research Center has been accredited by the Partnership for Human Research Protection (PHRP), a new program that seeks to protect the safety and rights of participants in clinical trials and research programs. National Jewish is one of the first institutions in the nation to receive PHRP accreditation.

"We are delighted to receive PHRP accreditation," says Verne Singleton, chief administrative officer, National Jewish. "Our efforts to better understand and treat respiratory, allergic and immune system diseases would be impossible without the voluntary participation of thousands of people in our research studies. PHRP accreditation provides valuable assurance to those people that we are safeguarding their interests."

To earn accreditation, the organization completed a thorough on-line review against PHRP standards and an on-site accreditation survey. During the on-site review, a team of PHRP surveyors - research clinicians and others experienced in biomedical research - validated performance against the national standards. National Jewish received accreditation for three years, the longest period possible, based upon its high score in the review.

PHRP is a collaboration between the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). PHRP launched its accreditation program in 2003 to provide a national set of standards and a voluntary oversight process that creates a credible, objective framework for ensuring that processes are in place to inform and protect the thousands of volunteer human subjects who participate in clinical trials and other research activities every year. The rapid expansion of medical research, drug trials and other studies involving human subjects has increased demand to ensure that studies' risks and benefits are thoroughly weighed, that volunteers are properly informed, that adverse events are carefully monitored and that research risks are minimized. Both the federal Office of Human Research Protection and the Food and Drug Administration support private accreditation - such as the new PHRP Accreditation Program - as a critical component of an overall national strategy to better protect human research participants and promote greater accountability.

"We commend the National Jewish Medical and Research Center for its focus on the most challenging goal in clinical research - to continuously raise quality and safety for human subjects to higher levels," says Karen H. Timmons, president, PHRP. "PHRP standards will help National Jewish Medical and Research Center to meet this goal by stimulating continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement and accountability."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center is the only medical and research center in the United States devoted entirely to respiratory, allergic and immune system diseases, including asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, severe allergies, lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Founded in 1899, this institution is dedicated to enhancing prevention, treatment and cures through research, and to developing and providing innovative clinical programs for treating patients regardless of age, religion, race or ability to pay. U.S. News & World Report has named National Jewish the top respiratory hospital in the nation for the past six years.

The Patient Advocacy Council Inc. (PAC) in Mobile, Alabama, became the first organization to receive PHRP accreditation earlier this year and a number of other organizations are also in the process of seeking PHRP accreditation. The organizations include both research organizations and independent review boards.

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