NIH doctors question changes in leadership amid patient safety crisis

Change is coming to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Clinical Center—and not everybody seems to be onboard. NIH announced plans to make sweeping changes to its flagship facility in May, including replacing the CEO, CMO and COO.

Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting eight high-ranking physicians and researchers wrote a heavily critical letter to NIH Director Francis Collins just days after the shake-up.

The doctors acknowledge safety issues and flaws in decision-making, but they disagree with many of the conclusions drawn by an outside panel that claimed the facility prioritized research over patient safety.

The report unfairly “demonized” the hospital leadership, they said, which negatively impacted employee morale. Collins, meanwhile, supported the independent panel and the conclusions of its report.

“We brought the outside team in and asked them to call it as they saw it,” Collins told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s not as if they walked in and made snap judgments.”

The full Wall Street Journal article can be found here.