January 17, 2006
HOUSTON - On January 4, 2006, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) awarded a three-year accreditation to the Human Research Protection Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC).
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and manages the evolution of HEDIS, the tool the nation’s health plans use to measure and report on their performance.
“It is important for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center to demonstrate our commitment to safeguarding the interests of human research participants through engagement in this accreditation program,” said Edgar L. Tucker, director, MEDVAMC. Last week, Tucker was advised of the national recognition and congratulated by the organization for "scoring a perfect 100.”
NCQA accreditation ensures 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 the need 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 Protections and the Food and Drug Administration have supported accreditation as a critical component of an overall national strategy to better protect human research participants and promote greater accountability.
“This accreditation reflects the efforts of a great many employees at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center including researchers, research administrative staff, and pharmacy staff. A perfect score is not usual and I am very proud of this recognition,” said Holly H. Birdsall, M.D., MEDVAMC Research Care Line executive.
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