Community Health Network Uses VigiLanz to Improve Safety Event Reporting

Customer Profile 

Community Health Network (CHN), a large health system based in Indianapolis, Indiana, serves more than 618,000 patients across nine hospitals and more than 200 sites of care. With nearly 60,000 inpatient admissions annually and more than 280,000 emergency room visits, CHN is known for its commitment to ensuring optimal safety for patients, staff, and visitors.

Challenge

Most hospitals use basic safety event reporting mechanisms to monitor safety events and identify improvement opportunities. But the effectiveness of these mechanisms is often limited by cumbersome documentation workflows and poor investigative and analytics tools. This reduces the likelihood that safety events will be reported and that safety gaps and trends will be identified and addressed.

CHN knew there had to be a better way, so in 2018, the health system began searching for a new solution that could replace its current vendor and provide more value across the enterprise. “The goal was to provide staff with efficient and intuitive event reporting workflows, while also implementing new investigative and analytics tools,” said Danielle Dillon, MHL, BSN, RN, CCRN-K, who serves as Blood Management Director for the entire CHN health system and who previously served as Risk Manager for Community Hospital East, a CHN hospital in Indianapolis. “We work hard to instill a culture of continual safety improvements, so we’re always looking for new approaches to be even more successful.”

Solution

Community Health Network evaluated several different event reporting solutions before selecting VigiLanz, an award-winning event reporting and clinical surveillance platform that optimizes reporting through real-time alerts, auto-detection of events, management and investigation tools, and analytics and reporting capabilities.

“We felt confident that VigiLanz would meet our current event reporting needs, but also work with us to help address any future objectives,” said Dillon, noting that the solution also stood out due to its form customization abilities, efficient documentation processes, ability to provide enterprise-wide and location-specific reports, and cost-effectiveness. “We knew they would help operationalize best practices in reporting, data collection, and collaboration across multidisciplinary teams.”

To ensure a thorough planning and implementation process, CHN formed a team of risk management, patient experience, claims, peer review, and IT leadership. This group worked closely with VigiLanz to ensure the solution would support enhanced collaboration across the enterprise. “Stronger safety event management and reporting workflows would benefit all of these departments, so their involvement was critical,” explained Dillon.

The new safety event management and reporting system, which went live at CHN in November of 2020 and is known as PACER (Patient and Caregiver Event Reporting), spans the breadth of reporting needs, including:

  • Employee injuries
  • Security events
  • Patient complaints and grievances
  • Safety events and harm events

CHN is also using other solutions in the VigiLanz event reporting suite, including VigiLanz Risk and Claims and VigiLanz Patient Relations, both of which integrate with the safety event platform. Risk and Claims is used to manage and document medical malpractice claims and legal filings and to maintain relevant financial data. Patient Relations is used to streamline the documentation and management of patient and visitor feedback and to identify opportunities for improving patient satisfaction and service recovery.

“There’s potential for one event to touch all of these areas pretty frequently,” said Dillon. “The new approach makes it easy to share information between departments and improves communication.”

“We’re confident that we aren’t missing things and that we’re addressing more potential safety problems and gaps than before.”– Danielle Dillon, MHL, BSN, RN, CCRN-K, Blood Management Director, CHN

Outcomes

According to Dillon, most hospitals and health systems that implement a new event reporting mechanism experience a temporary decrease in reported events, as it can take time for staff members to adjust. That’s not been the case at CHN. “Throughout the implementation processes, our average number of events reported remained stable and is now increasing,” said Dillon. “In 2021, our monthly average number of reported events is 16% higher than it was before we transitioned to the new system.”

She attributes that increase in reported events to more intuitive and efficient workflows for staff members. “We’re confident that we aren’t missing things and that we’re addressing more potential safety problems and gaps than before.”

Key benefits of the new system include the ability to:

  • Quickly document events through customizable forms, single sign-ons, mobile access, and mandatory fields
  • Obtain meaningful safety event insights within specific locations and across the enterprise through analytics and investigative tools
  • Use customizable and automated email notifications and automated escalations to ensure events are properly reviewed and addressed
  • Train new users with on-demand sessions and frequent live sessions with Q&As

“My job lives and breathes in PACER,” said Dillon. “I can easily access the system and daily report every morning via my cellphone, and I triage things then and there. We’re responding more quickly and it’s easier to track and trend events across every site.”

The new solution is also increasing collaboration across multiple multidisciplinary teams, said Dillon. For example:

  • The claims department uses the claims tracking system within the event reporting system to manage and document medical malpractice claims and legal filings.
  • The quality department uses the peer review tool to identify issues that may require quality review of care provided by physicians and/or advanced practitioners.
  • The patient experience department uses the system to document patient feedback and maintain regulatory compliance.
  • The risk management department uses the system to coordinate appropriate involvement of expert individuals to identify, assess, track, and trend issues impacting caregiver and patient safety.

“Creating a safer healthcare system is one of the most critical objectives for our industry right now,” said Dillon. “It’s something we strive to do every day at Community Health Network, and our new event management and reporting system is helping us meet that goal.”

 

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

Safety Event Detection and Management: 3 Things Every Hospital Needs

Most hospitals use basic safety event reporting mechanisms to monitor safety events and identify improvement opportunities. But the effectiveness of these mechanisms is often hindered by three key barriers:

  1. Lack of automated event detection  
  2. Cumbersome documentation workflows 
  3. Limited reporting and analytics capabilities 

When safety event reporting solutions lack these three features, events are less likely to be reported in a timely manner. Worse, many safety events may be missed altogether. That means hospitals are more likely to experience the same safety problems in the future.  

Here’s more on how your hospital can overcome the three key barriers outlined above. 

Barrier #1: Lack of automated event detection  

Why it’s a problem: In most hospitals, the only method to capture and report safety events is through staff member reporting. This single-method approach often results in delayed reporting and failure to report events at all. For example, staff may not have time to report events, forget to report them, or choose not to report them due to fear of punitive action. 

How to overcome it: Automated event detection 

What it is: Automated event detection, also known as electronic case finding, is the process of identifying safety events that have occurred using software algorithms and/or rules engines. This process, which can be used in combination with staff reporting, ensures more safety events are captured more quickly. 

Automated event detection requires near-real time standardized and normalized data. Cases are found using numerous types of data feeds including, but not limited to, the EMR, nursing notes, imaging, diagnosis and problem lists, medication administrations, and more.  

The best event auto-detection solutions capture all types of safety events, including those that affect patients, employees, and visitors.  

 

Automated Event Detection In Action: Narcan Example

VigiLanz Safety Surveillance uses several criteria to automatically detect safety events. For example, if the following criteria are met for the use of Narcan, a safety event is documented: 

  1. The administration of Narcan in a patient who has recently received morphine. 
  2. The patient has evidence of respiratory depression via a decrease in respiratory rate or oxygen saturation. 
  3. The patient is not currently located in a procedure area where the use of Narcan is more routine.  

Barrier #2: Cumbersome documentation workflows 

Why it’s a problem: Event reporting should not be difficult for your staff members. The harder it is for them to document events, the more likely it is that they will document them incorrectly or won’t document them at all. Cumbersome workflows also increase the likelihood that the reporting will lack the thoroughness necessary to support investigative processes. 

How to overcome it: Event form auto-population 

What it is: The same data feeds used to automatically detect safety events can also help streamline documentation workflows for staff members. When real-time standardized and normalized data is pulled from these data feeds, that data can be populated into event reporting forms automatically. This significantly reduces staff time spent filling out event forms.

This real-time data can provide additional benefits, including enhanced reporting accuracy and more efficient communication regarding safety events. For example, if certain thresholds are met, the solution can automatically trigger real-time alerts to relevant staff members.    

“Identifying patient safety opportunities is a fundamental first step to preventing harm and improving patient care, which is why hospitals promote safety event reporting.”

– James Hoffman, PharmD, Chief Patient Safety Officer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Barrier #3: Limited reporting and analytics capabilities 

Why it’s a problem: In order to foster continual safety improvements, the safety event reporting mechanism must make it easy for healthcare leaders to investigate and act on documented information via reporting and analytics tools. Unfortunately, this is another area in which many safety event reporting mechanisms fall short. 

How to overcome it: Automated event detection + form auto-population + reporting tools 

What it is: As previously noted, automated event detection and form auto-population are critical to ensuring safety events are identified quickly and documented properly. However, these capabilities are also key to enabling the quick and thorough analysis and investigation of safety events. 

Without automated event detection and auto-population, even the best safety event reporting and analytics platforms stumble. Since organizations without automated detection and auto-population tend to capture fewer events and fewer details related to events, their reporting and analytics platforms are working with incomplete data. That means these organizations are missing key safety trends and improvement opportunities. 

When automated event detection is used in tandem with a robust set of reporting and analytics tools—such as timelines, cause mapping, solution maps, and fishbone diagrams—hospitals can identify more safety events and safety trends more quickly. This helps them intervene faster to prevent future problems. 

“Hospitals increasingly recognize that they must find ways to intervene more quickly when safety events occur. The longer the delay in intervention, the more likely it is a similar event will occur again. Automated event detection and alerts keep patients safer because hospitals can intervene faster.”

– Karen Biesack, Senior Quality and Safety Specialist, VigiLanz

VigiLanz Dynamic Safety Surveillance is a modern, configurable platform for identifying, reporting, managing, and communicating safety events. By incorporating the above capabilities, VigiLanz enables organizations promote a culture of safety while reducing adverse events. Learn more at vigilanzcorp.com/safety-surveillance.

Enhancing Patient Safety Saves Hospitals Millions: Learn How Much Yours Could Save

As COVID-19 and the unprecedented patient care challenges it brought to healthcare organizations recede, hospitals are still reeling from financial strains caused by the pandemic. The AHA estimates that hospitals will lose between $53 billion and $122 billion by the end of this year due to residual effects of COVID-19, depending on vaccine distribution and return of patient volumes.

Still, this is no time for hospitals to hit the brakes on patient safety improvements, even if stepping up patient safety initiatives may seem challenging in the face of significant financial losses. In fact, patient safety and a healthier bottom line go hand-in-hand; if you improve patient safety, your margins will also improve, and for hospitals to return to pre-pandemic patient volumes, it will be vital for hospitals to demonstrate that patient safety is a priority.

Calculating the Value

Healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners recently conducted an economic value assessment of the patient-safety enhancing features and functionalities of our clinical surveillance platform.

The assessment—which is based on metrics and reports from peer-reviewed studies, journals, government databases, and other sources—determines a hospital’s potential savings from implementing VigiLanz. The evaluation is customized based on factors such as annual inpatient admissions, number of staffed beds, and daily census.

The assessment found that most hospitals can save millions of dollars by implementing VigiLanz. For example, a small hospital with 50 staffed beds, 3,000 annual admissions, an average daily census of 30, and a bed utilization rate of 50 percent could experience $1.3 million in savings. A large hospital, with 900 staffed beds, 40,000 annual admissions, an average daily census of 700, and a bed utilization rate of 80 percent, could gain $15.5 million in savings.

Hospitals can input their own unique data in order to instantly receive a free, customized report. The report shows the total economic impact the hospital could experience, and it breaks that impact down by potential:

  1. Cost savings, due to faster and more proactive identification of opportunities to cut costs, such as IV to PO conversions and more optimal management of high-cost drugs.
  2. Cost avoidance, due to fewer costly events such as hospital acquired infections or conditions, acute kidney injuries due to antibiotic use, adverse drug events, readmissions, and return visits to the emergency department.
  3. Returned resources, the value of time saved by transitioning from manual to automated processes.

The tool also provides a breakdown of savings by area, such as pharmacy, infection prevention, and safety and quality.

To learn more and to get your custom savings report, please check out the tool. If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about how your hospital can use VigiLanz to improve patient safety and your bottom line, contact us today.

Hospital Patient Safety Report: Infection Prevention Findings

To better understand the state of hospital patient safety and the biggest opportunities for improvement, VigiLanz commissioned Sage Growth Partners, a healthcare consultancy, to conduct an independent survey of 100 hospital and health system leaders in February 2020.

View the full report here.

This infographic highlights some of the most noteworthy infection prevention-related survey findings. The infographic reveals:

  • How hospital leaders rate their infection prevention efforts
  • Where infection prevention falls on their list of top safety priorities
  • How they are using technology to support their efforts

Hospital Patient Safety Report: Medication Errors

To better understand the state of hospital patient safety and the biggest opportunities for improvement, VigiLanz commissioned Sage Growth Partners, a healthcare consultancy, to conduct an independent survey of 100 hospital and health system leaders in February 2020.

View the full report here.

This infographic highlights some of the most noteworthy medication error-related survey findings. The infographic reveals:

  • Where they rank medication errors on a list of top safety problems
  • Whether hospital leaders say medication error rates are falling
  • How they are using technology to support their efforts

Economic Value Tool – Calculate Your Savings

Healthier Patients, Healthier Bottom Line

Calculate Your Savings
See how your hospital or health system could be using VigiLanz to save millions by optimizing efficiency and improving patient safety.

VigiLanz leads to savings throughout your health system—from the pharmacy department, to infection prevention, to overall quality and safety.

We’ve designed this calculator to provide insight into VigiLanz’s high economic impact. VigiLanz improves workflow and staffing efficiency, reduces and prevents costly safety errors and adverse events, and identifies cost-savings opportunities such as IV to PO conversions.

The tool starts with national benchmark data, but allows you to enter your own organization’s information for a more customized analysis. See your hospital’s potential savings in key areas, plus, receive a full report to see hospital-wide savings and a detailed description of the key savings drivers and methodology.

Hospital Patient Safety Report: Opioid Stewardship

To better understand the state of hospital patient safety and the biggest opportunities for improvement, VigiLanz commissioned Sage Growth Partners, a healthcare consultancy, to conduct an independent survey of 100 hospital and health system leaders in February 2020.

View the full report here.

This infographic highlights some the most noteworthy opioid stewardship-related survey findings. The infographic reveals:

  • How hospital leaders rate their opioid stewardship efforts
  • Where opioid stewardship falls on their list of top safety priorities
  • How they are using technology to support their efforts

Three Things Every Hospital Should Be Doing Now to Improve Patient Safety

by David Goldsteen, MD, VigiLanz CEO

Improving patient safety has always been a priority for hospitals and health systems, but COVID-19, and the possibility of a second surge in a few weeks or months, is bringing new urgency to these efforts. All hospitals must quickly assess their current safety-related processes, identify optimization opportunities, and implement new approaches that foster a safer environment—not just for patients with COVID-19, but for all patients, staff members, and visitors.

You can read more of this article on PSQH.  

 

For more on VigiLanz’s COVID-19 rules and solutions, click here.

Hospital Patient Safety Report: Antimicrobial Stewardship

To better understand the state of hospital patient safety and the biggest opportunities for improvement, VigiLanz commissioned Sage Growth Partners, a healthcare consultancy, to conduct an independent survey of 100 hospital and health system leaders in February 2020.

View the full report here.

This infographic highlights some of the most noteworthy antimicrobial stewardship-related survey findings. The infographic reveals:

  • How hospital leaders rate their antimicrobial stewardship efforts
  • Where antimicrobial stewardship falls on their list of top safety priorities

How they are using technology to support their efforts

Hospital Patient Safety Report 2020

Survey of hospital executives and clinical leaders reveals some patient safety progress—but there’s still a long way to go

To better understand the current state of patient safety and the biggest opportunities for improvement, VigiLanz commissioned Sage Growth Partners, a healthcare consultancy, to conduct an independent survey of 100 hospital and health system leaders in February 2020.

The goal: To learn directly from those on the hospital front lines—the physicians, nurses, infection preventionists, pharmacists, and more—about their top patient safety challenges.

Download the report to view the survey results, including:

  1. Where the most patient safety progress is occurring
  2. If technology is enhancing patient safety
  3. What the most successful patient-safety improvement approaches are

Download the Report