The Benefits of Efficient Patient Recruitment for Clinical Trials

At VigiLanz, we understand the importance of clinical research. Supporting hospital teams with the tools they need to connect real people with opportunities for life-changing treatments is central to our company mission – and that’s why we’ve recently developed a real-time patient identification software solution designed to help research teams quickly and efficiently find the most qualified candidates for clinical trials.

By integrating with live data inside a hospital’s EHR, VigiLanz Research streamlines patient recruitment strategies for clinical research by ensuring that research teams spend less time searching for qualified candidates and more time screening those who do. Thanks to the software’s customizable rules engine that searches the EHR for qualified candidates 24/7, clinical teams can rest assured that every eligible candidate within their system will be accurately identified.

VigiLanz Research’s real-time patient identification abilities can significantly accelerate the clinical trial recruitment phase for a trial site. This is because the software reduces the need for costly and labor-intensive manual search processes. The benefits of rapid patient identification are significant: faster clinical trial enrollment means an increased likelihood of clinical trial success, which ultimately can get life-changing products to market faster while reducing costs for sponsors. More importantly, it helps people gain access to potentially life-saving treatments that could help them live longer, healthier lives.

Learn More About VigiLanz Research

For more information about finding patients for clinical trials in real time, give us a call today at 855.525.9078 or leave us a message through our contact form.

When It Comes to Patient Safety, ‘Good Enough’ Is Simply Not | PSQH

By David Goldsteen, CEO of VigiLanz.

In the early 1980s, when I was young in my emergency medicine career, patient safety and risk management were somewhat novel concepts in healthcare. At the time, even hand washing processes went unregimented. Medicine lacked the standardized processes and safety interventions we take for granted today, which often meant that pharmaceutical dosage or interaction errors, hospital-acquired infections, and even surgical injuries were likely common, but generally underappreciated and undocumented—and therefore relatively unnoticed.

Thankfully, that was quite a different world from the one we live in today. In just a few decades—and ushered along by watershed publications such as To Err Is Human—the industry has rallied around the interconnected concepts of patient safety and care quality. This is demonstrated daily within countless specialized checklists and infection control protocols, and reflected on a broader scale by the numerous studies, organizations, and conferences dedicated to safety and quality advancements.

Today, healthcare providers are primed and ready to embrace a culture of safety and quality. Within the last decade, we have seen an increasing movement toward value-based care, more initiatives within hospitals dedicated to patient safety, and more appointments of doctors to the C-suite: a key indicator of increasing recognition that clinical executives must help steer strategic decisions as much as financial, technical, and operations leaders do.

Read more from the original article on Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare.

In Honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week: A Message from Dr. Hayley Burgess

In honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week, I want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for the dedication, ingenuity, and compassion you consistently demonstrate as you work every day to keep patients safe.

For more than 20 years, VigiLanz has put patient safety and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do, and we remain committed to providing our pharmacists, infection preventionists, researchers, and safety professionals with the tools and the support you need to make a difference at your hospitals. We are so proud of the work you are doing!

While medical errors remain all too common in the United States, much progress has been made in recent years. It is a privilege to work in an environment that promotes a safe culture – where mistakes can occur and the system can pause to evaluate processes, staffing constraints, and contributing human factors.

However, the startling reality is that many errors go unreported. At VigiLanz, we strive to create technology that not only helps clinical teams anticipate, prevent, and respond to adverse events – but also assists in the documentation and capture of both voluntarily reported and automatically detected safety incidents. Still, we recognize that identifying issues is not enough, and that acting on prevention with this new knowledge is imperative to growing trust from our staff and protecting future patients.

In my previous role, I was a system pharmacy leader. I watched my pharmacists struggle with antiquated reporting and disparate data as they worked to find interventions that could improve patient care. When I discovered VigiLanz, it changed everything! At last, we had standard pharmacy workflow solutions that could assist my team with harm prevention, and finally I had valid data to understand how, when, and where medication management could be improved. I became such a big believer in the innovations that technology can bring when used in synergy with the medical record, and the rest is history.

Today, I have the privilege of leading the operations of the VigiLanz organization, where every day I get to pursue my passion of preventing patient harm and reducing the burden on clinicians. I truly believe that patient safety should be at the heart of every hospital’s innovation strategy, just like it’s at the heart of the VigiLanz mission – and that there’s never been a greater need for advancements in healthcare technology to help us keep our patients safe. It is an honor to do this work and serve you in this way! Thank you for your partnership and your commitment to making a difference, and I look forward to what we can accomplish together.

Hayley Burgess
Chief Operating Officer + Chief Clinical Officer

Why We Believe Patient Safety Should Be At The Heart Of Every Hospital’s Innovation Strategy

A Q&A with David Goldsteen, MD, VigiLanz Chairman and CEO

Even as hospitals make efforts to improve patient safety, adverse events continue to be all too common. A recent study of 11 Boston area hospitals found that such events occurred in nearly one-quarter of all hospital admissions, and of these events, almost one out of every four was preventable.

At VigiLanz, we’ve dedicated more than two decades to improving patient safety and the delivery of quality care inside hospitals. While we know the industry still has a long way to go, we also recognize that many hospitals are prioritizing patient safety improvements like never before, and we’re heartened by how far many of our hospital partners have come.

In this Q&A, David Goldsteen, MD, former Emergency Department physician and VigiLanz’s co-founder and CEO, explores the evolution of patient safety within hospitals over the past two decades. He shares his take on some of the biggest safety improvements that have been made, as well as the steps hospitals can take to create a safer environment for all patients.

You’ve had a front row seat observing patient safety trends over the past few decades. What are some key ways the patient safety landscape has changed?

While preventing adverse events remains a key challenge for all hospitals, I’ve seen many positive developments over the past few years. These include more awareness of safety events among hospital CEOs, and more initiatives dedicated to eradicating them.

In the early 1980s, many hospital CEOs would say that adverse events were not occurring within their organizations. Now, there’s much more recognition that avoidable and preventable safety events are happening—and that they are happening much too frequently.

As this awareness has grown, hospital leaders have made improving patient safety a much higher priority. This shift means that the most innovative hospital leaders are beginning to truly embrace and foster a culture of patient safety.

You mention that some hospitals are beginning to fully embrace a culture of patient safety. What is that and why is it so important?  

While most hospital leaders are moving in this direction, there is still a lot more that many organizations can do to accelerate the momentum. When a hospital fully embraces a culture of safety, three things happen.

One, staff members and physicians are fully encouraged to report safety events. Two, staff and physicians feel comfortable and safe reporting events (they don’t fear retribution). Three, the hospital makes it easy for staff and physicians to report safety events.

When hospitals achieve this state, they have more and faster visibility into the safety events that are occurring, and they can quickly work to prevent similar events from happening in the future. Embracing this culture is essential because it helps hospitals adopt a proactive mentality; it enables them to leverage past experiences to inform predictive algorithms, enabling providers to better anticipate safety events and intervene earlier to improve patient outcomes and prevent injuries across the board.

Safety shouldn’t be a response to an event. Safety should be something that we embrace because there’s risk in everything we do in healthcare, whether it’s taking acetaminophen or going through a complex procedure.”
—David Goldsteen, MD, VigiLanz Chairman and CEO

Let’s explore the third factor you mentioned—that the hospital must make it easy to report safety events. What are some steps hospitals can take to achieve this?

Ensuring staff and physicians have appropriate resources is crucial. An easy-to-use patient safety reporting system that works well with the EHR is essential. This solution should offer anonymous event reporting functionalities. It should also include automated protocols that spur critical next steps once an event has been reported, such as verification, investigation, root cause analysis, and remediation processes. The solution should also enable leadership to monitor and measure key metrics related to event reporting, to ensure they easily identify continuous improvement opportunities.

This is table stakes for any hospital, but the best patient safety software solutions also offer automated event reporting capabilities, which support and expand on human reporting activities by using a robust set of incident detection rules to automatically identify potential safety events.

While we have pursued this capability with vigor at VigiLanz, it is still very new to hospitals. Only about 10 hospitals across the country are actively embracing automated reporting.

This is unfortunate, because it can be a game-changer in patient safety improvements. In a recent survey of 100 hospital leaders by healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners, 86% said automated event reporting is “extremely” or “very” crucial to ensuring safety events are identified.

In addition to event reporting solutions, hospitals need tools that assist with real-time identification of potential harm—before it occurs. These include pharmacy, infection prevention and other surveillance tools that integrate with the EHR and the patient safety reporting system. This full-scale and interconnected approach to improving patient safety is no longer a future concept; it’s here and working today. It just needs to be adopted by hospitals.

All hospitals have EHRs, which do have some patient safety functions. Why are additional solutions so important?

EHRs are essential for hospital recordkeeping and have made great strides in enhancing documentation, efficiency, and patient care. However, by nature of what they do, EHRs need to be very rigid databases. Hospitals need other solutions that work alongside EHRs in order to ensure they can be as proactive as possible in preventing safety events. The most effective technology layers on top of the EHR, and enables hospitals to leverage all of the data within it, in real-time, to identify early warning signs and prevent any compromise to patient safety before it begins.

We need to recognize that safety events are always going to be with us—this isn’t something that we can eradicate—but, we can manage it better.
—David Goldsteen, MD, VigiLanz Chairman and CEO

Relying only on the EHR to enhance patient safety is like driving along a steep cliff road without any guard rails for support. There may be heavy signage on the road that alerts you to an upcoming curve, but there’s no additional layer of protection that can prevent a deadly fall.

We’d all be a lot safer if this road had both the signage and the guard rails—just like patients in a hospital would be a lot safer if an EHR and a patient safety reporting system were working in concert to monitor, predict, and intervene.

You’ve mentioned the need for hospitals to ensure staff and physicians have appropriate resources to improve patient safety, but hospitals also are also facing significant financial challenges. How can they balance this against the need to invest in patient safety improvements?

The financial challenges facing hospitals today are very real, but so is the growing threat to patient safety if hospitals do not implement better safety-enhancing solutions. It’s no secret that hospitals are experiencing significant turnover and burnout. Whenever you see that type of tumultuous turnover, safety is naturally going to suffer. But investing in patient safety doesn’t necessarily translate to a long-term financial loss. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Practically speaking, safety events are expensive. Reducing them has a significant ROI. CMS is not reimbursing for errors that lead to prolonged length of stay, for example, and hospitals are experiencing high financial losses due to safety lawsuits and settlements. Hospitals can no longer afford not to invest in safety.

Learn more about how VigiLanz is helping hospitals reduce adverse events and improve patient safety.

CHRISTUS Health Increases Safety Event Reporting with VigiLanz

Customer Profile

CHRISTUS Health is an international Catholic, not-for-profit health system comprising more than 600 centers, including community hospitals, urgent care centers, health insurance companies, and physician clinics in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Latin America. With more than 45,000 team members and more than 15,000 physicians providing individualized care, CHRISTUS aims to deliver a complete healing experience that respects every individual.


Adverse drug events (ADEs) represent a significant, and often avoidable, problem in United States healthcare. ADEs cause approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits annually, and about 350,000 of those patients need to be hospitalized for further treatment – yet it’s estimated that half of ADEs in the U.S. are preventable.

Often, when these events do occur, they are either unreported or lack critical details and context. This makes it difficult for quality, safety, risk management, and other teams to document, analyze, and prevent similar events from occurring in the future.

While many hospitals have patient safety event reporting processes and procedures in place, many lack automated event detection capabilities to make the event reporting faster, easier, and more accurate.

Common Reasons Many Event Reporting Mechanisms Underperform:

  • Limited documentation on events that occur
  • Too much time associated with completing incident forms
  • Lack of urgency to report events considered minor
  • Confusion over event reporting responsibilities
  • Lack of understanding about what should be reported


With its dedication to improving patient safety, CHRISTUS implemented VigiLanz’s safety surveillance solution, which automates the management, reporting, and detection of safety events, in 2021. This patient safety software integrates clinical data from multiple sources with comprehensive detection and investigation tools. For example, VigiLanz monitors EHR data—including data related to patient demographics, medication orders, medication administrations, lab results, radiology notes, and vital signs—and documents triggered events based on CHRISTUS-defined safety event criteria. This makes it easier for CHRISTUS to quickly identify, manage, address, and prevent adverse drug events.

Key benefits include:

  • Improved efficiency, accuracy, and completeness of events reported
  • Safety events recorded in near real-time
  • Ability for patient safety teams and claims managers to intervene quickly
  • More comprehensive capture of safety events

CHRISTUS team members can also use the VigiLanz solution to quickly document and self-report safety events through customizable forms, mobile access, mandatory fields, and anonymous reporting. The solution includes:

  • Patient safety event reporting analytics and investigative tools that can be used within specific departments, sites, and across the enterprise.
  • Customizable and automated email notifications and automated escalations to ensure timely reviews and management.


Over an 18-month period, CHRISTUS deployed 21 surveillance rules to auto-detect ADEs. This led to a 400% increase in ADRs reported compared to manual reporting.

“Automated event detection saves us a significant amount of time, and gives us more peace of mind that more events are captured,” said Tina Collins, PharmD, Corporate Director of Medication Safety at the Division of Clinical Excellence and CHRISTUS Health. “As a result, we can now spend more time analyzing events and identifying improvement opportunities.”

CHRISTUS facilities with VigiLanz identified 8.7 times more ADRs than facilities that relied on voluntary reporting. In addition, more than 77% of the auto-detected ADEs led to an investigation – a testament to the accuracy of the software’s rules.

Overall, CHRISTUS saw a 66% overall increase in ADRs reported for harm categories (including mild harm, moderate harm, severe harm, and death) with auto-detection compared to manual reporting. Auto-detection also identified 4.8 times more near-miss ADRs, 1.6 times more mild-harm ADRs, and 2.3 times more moderate-harm ADRs compared to manual reporting.

“Our number of reported events is increasing due to automated event detection and reporting,” said Collins. “The technology, which is now used across all of our hospitals, ensures we’re capturing more events and gathering more insights.”

To learn more about how VigiLanz helps hospitals improve patient safety event reporting, visit today.

Why Relying on Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research May Be Hindering Your Hospital

Clinical trials are an important part of advancing healthcare, contributing to better treatments and outcomes for patients by helping doctors and researchers understand how diseases affect them.

Whether a hospital can optimize clinical trial enrollment plays a key role in their ultimate success or failure as a clinical trial site. If too few patients participate or don’t meet the criteria, the hospital will not be able to complete the trial.

Historically, medical researchers and clinical study directors have used electronic health records (EHRs) for clinical research support. In other words, they use the EHR to find eligible patients by manually sorting through it to identify candidates who match specific study criteria.

This process is cumbersome, and leads to inefficiencies both for the trial coordinators and for the trial itself. In addition, this time-consuming process often results in missed clinical trial enrollment opportunities, since many studies require that patients be enrolled within a specific period of time after a care episode or treatment.

Accelerating the Clinical Trial Patient Enrollment Process

New technology automatically filters through EHRs in real time to locate all eligible candidates within the healthcare system. Coordinators of clinical trials become unencumbered by manual searches, which supports the speed in which qualified patients can be reviewed and enrolled.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital has been using this technology since 2020, and DeAnn Cary, PhD, Director of Research, says it has significantly accelerated their enrollment process.

“VigiLanz Research has also enabled our small staff of clinical research coordinators to feel confident that they have not missed a single qualified potential research participant,” said Cary. “It has also enabled them to focus their time and energies on the patients who meet or nearly meet the study criteria, rather than having to manually review hundreds of patient charts.”

Key benefits of the new technology, she added, include the real-time patient identification for studies that have a very short timeline for identification and recruitment (e.g., cardiac and stroke).

Clinical trials are designed with one purpose: to help patients. If you need help finding patients for clinical trials in real time, consider VigiLanz Research. Contact us today if you’d like to see a demo of the product.