SCVMC is deeply committed to conducting high-quality, innovative research that improves treatment care practices to promote “Better Health for All.” Rigorous research and the continuous pursuit of advancing science to benefit the individuals we serve is part of the fabric of our culture.  

SCVMC has a rich research background and history that spans involvement across multiple disciplines and departments. Currently SCVMC participates in over 100 active research studies across 19 different departments; the top five being Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Neonatology, Surgery/Trauma, OB/GYN, and Hematology/Oncology. We are also involved in multi-site research collaborations with Stanford, UCSF, the VA Palo Alto, and many others throughout the United States. Our successful research track record has allowed us to be actively and consistently sought out by top research organizations, in addition to successfully securing research funding up to the national (National Institutes of Health) and federal (Department of Defense) level. 

Research plays an integral role in knowledge, understanding, and innovation that leads to improvements in clinical care and quality of life for patients. SCVMC is committed to communicating research findings to clinicians and the public at large through presentations at professional conferences, publications in scientific journals, as well as translating research findings into real-world treatment practices to benefit the public that we serve. Some of the most notable research findings that have now become standard of care practices at SCVMC include:

  • Significant reduction in the use of painful urinary tract imaging procedures in patients with febrile urinary tract infections. 
    • This research finding was published about five years before it became an American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation.
  • Ruling out bacteremia and bacterial meningitis allows physicians to have confidence to safely discharge infants under one month old admitted for fever after less than 48 hours.
    • This has reduced length of stay by 1-2 days, as previous standard of care practice was to discharge after 48-72 hours
  • Collection of cerebral spinal fluid through lumbar puncture to identify pathogenic bacteria in term infants revealed bacterial growth within 36 hours.
    • This research finding verifies that shorter lengths of inpatient stays are safe.
  • Assessment of HCG levels after manual vacuum aspiration (uterine aspiration) in women with pregnancy of an unknown location.
    • This protocol, currently a practice guideline recommended by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has been a standard of care practice at SCVMC for the last 10 years.

As evidence of the long-standing importance of research at SCVMC, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) was established over 35 years ago at SCVMC. An IRB is a volunteer-based committee with at least five members of varying backgrounds and specialties to promote a complete and thorough review of the research projects conducted at SCVMC. The IRB committee includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, lawyers and community members. Guided by Federal Regulations, the IRB is tasked with ensuring study investigators conduct their research with the highest ethical standards. A review by the IRB confirms that patient safety protections are in place prior to the start of the research, including adequate documentation of consent to participate and ensuring the risks of the research are reasonable in relation to the benefits.  All research conducted at SCVMC must be presented to the IRB and approved before commencing.

Are you interested in potentially joining a research study? Please visit https://clinicaltrials.gov/ and use the search term “Santa Clara Valley Medical Center” to look for information on studies that are open for recruitment at SCVMC (as well as nationally and internationally). Study coordinators will help determine your eligibility. Reach out today!

2018 Research Administration Annual Report