A New Vision For Hospital Safety

a new vision for hospital safety infographic

The Steps Leading Hospitals Are Taking To Overcome The Safety Challenges

What safety challenges are on hospitals’ watch lists, and what are they doing to overcome them? This infographic—featuring insights gathered from VigiLanz’s Hospital Patient Safety Report 2022, Becker’s Hospital Review, JAMA, and more—has answers.

VigiLanz Releases New Industry Report Highlighting How the Pandemic is Impacting Hospital Safety

Two years after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, how is the patient, staff, and visitor safety landscape changing, and what might the future bring?

MINNEAPOLIS, March 23, 2022VigiLanz, a clinical surveillance company, today announced the release of its fourth annual Hospital Patient Safety Report.

The Hospital Patient Safety Report, released annually since 2019, serves as a barometer of safety performance within U.S. hospitals and reveals how safety challenges, initiatives, and priorities are evolving. The 2022 report, which also highlights the impact of the pandemic on patient, staff, and visitor safety, is based on an independent survey of 100 hospital and health system leaders conducted in January 2022 by Sage Growth Partners.

Nearly one out of three hospital executives and clinical leaders surveyed reported that their organization is not doing enough to address pandemic-exposed vulnerabilities, and nearly one out of five says pandemic-related challenges such as staff burnout and shortages are putting patients’ lives in jeopardy.

While many hospital executives and clinical leaders see significant safety problems within their organizations, the survey also reveals that most are advancing and prioritizing improvements, with about three-quarters saying the pandemic has made improving patient, staff, and visitor safety a higher priority,” said VigiLanz Chairman and CEO David Goldsteen, MD. “We’re excited to see the positive impact that this commitment to positive change will have on everyone within healthcare organizations.”

Among the report’s key findings and insights:

  • 33% of hospital executives and clinical leaders say their organization hasn’t done enough to address pandemic-exposed safety problems.
  • 86% say burnout has led to a decline in patient safety, while 21% say it has caused patient deaths.
  • 42% indicate their rate of hospital-acquired infections has increased over the past 12 months.
  • 78% say the pandemic has led to new patient safety improvement initiatives, 77% say it has led to staff safety improvement initiatives, and 72% say it has led to visitor safety improvement initiatives.

“Hospital leaders are facing several safety-related challenges, but the good news is they are embracing new initiatives—and allocating more resources—to meet them,” said Dr. Hayley Burgess, Chief Clinical Officer, VigiLanz.

She also noted that 64% of respondents shared that the pandemic has resulted in a higher budget for staff safety improvements, 58% report enhanced budgeting for patient safety improvements, and 49% for visitor safety improvements.

“As hospitals consider various safety improvement initiatives, implementing clinical surveillance technology is a good choice to enhance identification of safety issues which in turn expedites the improvement cycle,” said Dr. Burgess.

Overall, the Hospital Safety Report shows that healthcare leaders agree that clinical surveillance technology positively impacts hospital safety, regardless of whether they are currently using the technology.

Among survey respondents who already use the technology, there is widespread agreement about the benefits. These span from an increased ability to identify and manage safety events to identifying infections or outbreaks sooner. In addition, 92% of hospital executives and clinical leaders whose organizations already incorporate technology indicate that it is supporting their hospital’s efforts to respond to the pandemic.

“The 2022 Hospital Patient Safety Report provides a unique opportunity for the industry to begin measuring how the pandemic continues to impact national hospital safety trends,” said Dan D’Orazio, CEO, Sage Growth Partners. “Staffing shortages, clinical burnout, infection prevention, and pharmacy-related challenges have had an enormous impact on hospital safety, but there is a substantial opportunity to overcome these challenges, and I believe the industry will do so.”

For more information and key takeaways on the survey findings, including how the pandemic is impacting and changing how hospitals are approaching safety within key areas such as infection prevention, pharmacy surveillance, and antimicrobial stewardship, please visit https://vigilanzcorp.com/hospital-patient-safety-report-2022/.

About VigiLanz

Founded in 2001, VigiLanz is a privately held, rapidly growing provider of SaaS-based clinical surveillance, safety, quality, and risk solutions. The firm is focused on transforming the delivery of quality care by aggregating disparate EHR transactional workflow and documentation data across health systems to identify real-time clinical issues that avoid or minimize harm, optimize clinical outcomes, and support preventive care. VigiLanz is a clinical partner to a large and growing community of hospital CMOs, CMIOs, CIOs, quality and safety teams, infectious disease and control specialists, pharmacists, and other clinicians dedicated to innovative, real-time inpatient care.

About Sage Growth Partners

Sage Growth Partners accelerates commercial success for healthcare organizations through a singular focus on growth. The company helps its clients thrive amid the complexities of a rapidly changing marketplace with deep domain expertise and an integrated application of research, strategy, and marketing.


For More Information

John Gonda

Northern Arizona Healthcare Uses VigiLanz to Fight COVID-19 and Mitigate Drug Shortages

Customer Profile 

Northern Arizona Healthcare, the largest healthcare system in a region that encompasses more than 50,000 square miles, provides comprehensive healthcare services through clinics, surgical centers, and two hospitals: Flagstaff Medical Center and Verde Valley Medical Center.  The health system serves more than 700,000 people in communities across the region, and is committed to continually improving and enhancing patient safety.


Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) is the biggest major medical center in Northern Arizona. The Navajo Nation, the largest Native American Reservation in the country, resides in FMC’s service area. This community was hit hard and early with a significant COVID-19 outbreak. At its peak, the Navajo Nation had a higher per capita COVID-19 rate than all major cities in the U.S. including New York (3.4 percent vs 1.9 percent).

FMC initially bore the brunt of this outbreak, well before the Arizona State COVID-19 Healthcare Surge Hotline was created in mid-May to help balance the load of cases across the state. FMC treated their first COVID-19 patient in mid-March of 2020, and quickly ramped up to more than 30 critically ill COVID-19 patients by the end of the month. They experienced a peak of 51 positive cases (a full third of their census) followed by a second surge in mid-June.

Kristen Bamberg, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCCCP, Lead Critical Care Pharmacist at FMC, and Andrea Boyce, PharmD, BCIDP, Lead Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist at FMC, were immediately thrust into a fast-paced and highly challenging environment due the influx of COVID-19 patients. They faced constantly evolving therapeutic recommendations, and a continual fight to mitigate critical shortages of medications like sedatives, neuromuscular blockers, and antibiotics.


Bamberg and Boyce had an excellent team behind them working to overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19, but they also recognized that they needed to fully utilize all of their resources in order to continue to provide optimal care to patients.

“We knew how useful VigiLanz’s alerts and reports already were in helping us care for patients on a day-to-day basis,” said Bamberg. “So we turned to them to help us quickly determine how their alerts and reports could be tailored to help us specifically address the needs and demands of the pandemic.”

Ultimately, Bamberg and Boyce worked with the clinical surveillance provider to implement dozens of new rules and alerts. These rules resulted in three key benefits:

Benefit #1: Real-time alerts that led to a more proactive response to COVID-19 patients and helped conserve PPE

At the beginning of the pandemic, FMC immediately recognized that the earlier healthcare providers could be informed of a patient’s COVID-19 status, the better. If a patient tested positive, that patient could continue to be isolated and contact tracing could begin; if a patient tested negative, staff members no longer needed to use PPE when interacting with that patient (which could help combat the PPE shortage).

As a result, Bamberg and Boyce worked with VigiLanz to implement real-time alerts to inform relevant healthcare providers and staff as soon as a COVID-19 test result was available. They also implemented alerts to inform them if a re-admitted patient had a history of COVID-19.

Examples of alerts:

  • COVID-19 results: Alerted pharmacists of a new COVID-19 RNA or PCR test result
  • Patients with a history of COVID-19: Alerted pharmacists if a patient was re-admitted and had a positive result on a previous encounter in the last 90 days

“The support and responsiveness of VigiLanz to our abundance of requests was incredible,” said Bamberg. “It helped us work through countless therapeutic and workflow issues in real time.”

Benefit #2: Real-time alerts for medication optimization and prevention of adverse drug events

Bamberg and Boyce also worked with VigiLanz to implement several new alerts that helped optimize medication safety for COVID-19 patients.

“These alerts were particularly useful since we were dealing with a new disease and treatments that were continually changing,” said Boyce. “Many of the alerts resulted in the discontinuation of certain medications and helped us flag potential problems.”

Examples of alerts:

  • Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) ordered: Alerted pharmacists to check for drug interactions and assess and follow the risk of corrected QT(QTc) prolongation
  • HCQ and weight > 50 kg: Alerted pharmacists to review based on the hospital’s protocol at the time
  • HCQ patients at high risk for QTc prolongation with higher than normal doses used for treatment of COVID-19: Alerted pharmacists when patients had HCQ + azithromycin + K < 4, HCQ + azithromycin + Mag < 2, HCQ + azithromycin + scheduled ondansetron.
  • Metoclopramide longer than three days: Alerted pharmacists to assess efficacy and potential discontinuation of metoclopramide (which many COVID-19 patients were prescribed due to ileus or significantly reduced bowel motility) in an effort to minimize adverse drug events.
  • D-dimer > 1,000: Alerted ICU pharmacists to assess patients (this rule was implemented after a hospital literature review of COVID-19 and thrombosis indicated that patients were experiencing micro thromboemboli and likely required higher than usual doses of chemical deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis). While the hospital eventually abandoned D-dimer as a sole marker of a need for these higher doses, it initially helped the pharmacists make recommendations to intensivists regarding anti-thrombotic therapy.
  • Enoxaparin 0.5 mg/kg SQ Q12H ordered and no Xa level: Alerted pharmacists to monitor patients’ response to treatment, as COVID-19 patients had a higher propensity to clot, a potentially larger clot burden in the form of microthrombosis, and potentially acquired ATIII deficiencies as a result.
  • Remdesivir ordered: Alerted pharmacists to monitor patients to adhere to new protocols (the hospital had a specific Remdesivir protocol in place due to emergency use authorization requirements).

Benefit #3: Real-time alerts to mitigate drug shortages

In addition to ensuring optimal medication usage for COVID-19 patients, Bamberg and Boyce also used VigiLanz to help FMC manage medications in short supply.

“We always need to make sure that we have the right medications on hand for each patient, but this process became even more challenging when COVID-19 hit,” said Boyce. “VigiLanz helped us manage many of the unprecedented shortages we faced, especially when it came to necessary medications like sedatives and antibiotics.”

Examples of alerts:

  • Ketamine ordered: Alerted pharmacists to determine if a more concentrated bag could be used, or if alternative medications were appropriate
  • IV famotidine ordered: Alerted pharmacists so that, if appropriate, they could recommend an IV alternative or switch the patient to oral
  • Doxycycline more than five days: Alerted pharmacists to assess patients’ antibiotic therapy and recommend possible discontinuation as appropriate
  • Albuterol inhaler PRN, not on isolation: Alerted pharmacists to assess whether a non-COVID-19 patient with an active order for an albuterol inhaler could be switched to nebulization


FMC’s ability to quickly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to the dedication and innovative ideas of all of its frontline staff—with Bamberg and Boyce playing a critical supporting role. During a significantly challenging time, they were able to think outside the box and use the information they received from VigiLanz to enhance patient care.

Overall, this led to:

  • Earlier identification of positive and negative COVID-19 tests, which helped conserve PPE and enhance patient treatment
  • Earlier identification of readmitted patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19, which helped the health system protect non-COVID-19 patients and staff
  • Optimal medication usage for COVID-19 patients, which enhanced patient treatment
  • Enhanced monitoring of medications in short supply, which led to more targeted and judicious use of medications

“We were among the first and hardest hit hospitals by COVID-19,” said Bamberg.We worked  with VigiLanz to be proactive in tackling this challenge, and it made a significant difference to our patients and community.”

To learn more about how VigiLanz helps hospitals improve their patient safety and clinical surveillance, visit https://vigilanzcorp.com/ today.