COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

As of April 15, 2021, everyone in Washington age 16 and over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit our vaccine page for information on how to schedule an appointment.


Information for Patients

Early Access to Promising New Treatments

Research Doctors asking Patient Questions

As a result of our work in research, patients of MultiCare Health System often have early access to promising medications and devices, radiation therapies, and surgical techniques that offer types of care that otherwise would not be available.


Taking part in a clinical trial offers multiple benefits, including:

  • A chance to help others and improve treatment options
  • Access to new treatments or medications
  • Close monitoring of your health for any side effects
  • Financial assistance with some of the costs of treatment during the clinical trial
  • High-quality care

Clinical Trials & Studies

You’ve probably heard the phrase “clinical trials,” but do you know what that actually means? 


Clinical trials are one of the final steps in a long research process. Before new treatments are used in research studies involving people, they are tested in labs or on animals. Once people are involved, they are called clinical trials.


Clinical trials aim to determine the safety and effectiveness of: 

  • A different dose of a medication than is commonly used 

  • A new medication or device on a specific kind of patient 

  • An already marketed medication or device being used for a new purpose


Phases of Clinical Trials

Research related to whether a new treatment or medication is effective and safe includes multiple phases: 


Phase II

This phase measures the safety and effectiveness of a medication given to people diagnosed with a specific medical condition. Many phase II trials use a process called randomization, in which some patients receive the investigational medication and others receive the standard treatment or placebo as part of a control group.


Phase III

These are randomized and blinded trials that provide more information about how the medication works, including side effects and long-term use.


Phase IV

This phase occurs after a medication has been approved by the FDA and can be obtained by a prescription. These trials compare the newly approved medication with similar medications currently in use, to monitor its long-term effectiveness and impact on a patient’s quality of life.


Patient Safety & Rights

All clinical trials must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB ensures the protection of the rights, safety and well-being of those participating in clinical research trials.


MultiCare has had an IRB since the early 1980s that includes both scientific and nonscientific members, along with both institutional and non-institutional members, as required by the FDA and OHRP.