NIH physicians revolt against report deeming its hospital unsafe

Eight senior physician leaders at the renowned NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., are denouncing a report that deemed the hospital unsafe and could lead to a leadership overhaul, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, called for an expert committee to investigate the medical center after it was discovered two vials of medicine had fungus in them and inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration found issues with the hospital's ventilation system, employee training and lack of safety compliance, according to WSJ.

The panel found the hospital had an "evolution of a culture and practice in which patient safety gradually, and unintentionally, became subservient to research demands," according to the report. In light of the panel's findings, Dr. Collins announced in May he planned to replace the top three officials at the medical center.

Dr. Collins announcement was met by outrage from seven NIH Clinical Center department heads and another established NIH physician, WSJ reported. In a letter to Dr. Collins, they wrote, "The implication that these [issues] indicate a culture that overlooks patient safety and/or reflects a general attitude of putting research considerations ahead of patient care and safety is, quite simply, incorrect," according to the report.

Dr. Collins plans to meet with the authors of the letter on Friday, according to the report.

Read the full article here.


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