MetroHealth Receives Elite Accreditation for Research Institutions
(Cleveland, Ohio) – The MetroHealth System has received accreditation from The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP), which offers accreditation to organizations that conduct or review research with humans. MetroHealth joins an elite group of 68 organizations across the nation to earn AAHRPP accreditation.
The mission of the AAHRPP is to protect the rights and welfare of research participants and promote scientifically meritorious and ethically sound research by fostering and advancing the ethical and professional conduct of persons and organizations that engage in research with human participants. AAHRPP achieves its mission by using an accreditation process based on self-assessment, peer review, and education.
The rigorous accreditation process includes several steps:
The first and most important step in earning accreditation is to conduct an intensive self-assessment to evaluate human research protection programs within the organization and make improvements. An application includes a two-page application form, a program overview, copies of documents used by the organization, and an index to those documents.
A team of experts reviews the submitted materials and schedules an on-site visit. During the visit, the team evaluates the program's performance using an evaluation instrument for accreditation.
AAHRPP's Council on Accreditation reviews the report, deliberates on the team's findings, and determines the organization’s accreditation status.
Notification of accreditation status:
The organization receives a report detailing the status of its accreditation. Organizations that achieve accreditation must be re-evaluated every three years in order to remain accredited.
The AAHRPP seeks not only to ensure compliance with federal regulations, but also to raise the bar in human research protection by helping organizations reach performance standards that surpass the threshold of state and federal requirements. The "gold seal" accreditation signifies that organizations are committed to the most comprehensive protections for research participants and the highest quality research.
"This is a very exciting time for these organizations and for AAHRPP," said Marjorie A. Speers, PhD, executive director, AAHRPP. "MetroHealth’s accreditation is among the largest number of accreditations we have awarded at one time. Not only is it great for these institutions but it is critical for the public and research participants as well."
Through the intensive accreditation process, organizations must be able to demonstrate that extensive safeguards are built into every level of their research operation. AAHRPP standards exceed federal regulation in two ways: the protections for research participants that the federal government required only for federally sponsored or regulated research are extended to all research; and AAHRPP requires additional protections, such as conflict of interest rules and community education. The rigorous accreditation process often results in system-wide improvements that provide greater protection for research participants and ensures the integrity of the research.
The research institutions already accredited include organizations in the biomedical and behavioral and social sciences research fields - including community hospitals, teaching hospitals, independent review boards, research institutes, contract research organizations, and universities. AAHRPP is currently working with nearly 400 organizations that are in the accreditation process.
The MetroHealth System is one of the nation’s largest and most successful public health care providers, offering health care for the most critically injured trauma victim to skilled nursing care for the chronically ill. Affiliated with Case Western Reserve University since 1914, MetroHealth continues its long-standing teaching reputation and research excellence, offering vital training and research opportunities for students and physicians. MetroHealth conducts cutting-edge research in biomedical sciences, particularly in the areas of cancer, heart, liver and kidney research. For more information about The MetroHealth System, visit www.metrohealth.org.