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2023 Vigi Award Winners

Congratulations to this year’s winners! Learn more about how these superstars are using our clinical surveillance platform to improve patient care.


Pharmacy Team | Keck Hospital of USC

Los Angeles, California

We are so impressed with this pharmacy team’s proactive commitment to patient care. Not only are they continually developing innovative rules and reports, but they are always assessing and updating their rules to avoid over-alerting and to improve pharmacist workflows. It’s an honor to support such a dedicated team.

Josh Caraccio, Pharmacy Surveillance Manager, VigiLanz

Entry Details

The pharmacy team at Keck Hospital at USC has earned the 5-Star Patient Care award for enhancing medication safety by using clinical surveillance to create a safety net process for medication protocols.

How does it work? At Keck Hospital at USC, providers can request pharmacists to initiate and manage selective medications per protocol. The pharmacist initiation and management includes creating an order in the EMR for the initial dose, ordering relevant laboratory tests, and incorporating necessary adjustments to the dosing regimen based on the patient’s condition.

To ensure proper protocols are followed in a timely manner, the pharmacy team created a custom report that runs twice daily that helps pharmacists recognize if there is an outstanding order for a protocol medication. The pharmacists also receive alerts if a protocol has not been initiated within a set time period, and if a patient is on a high rate of insulin drip and requires a confirmatory lab test.

The team also uses clinical surveillance to improve efficiencies in pharmacist time management, such as by issuing an alert when a laboratory value is available to view in the EMR.

Team Members

  • Krist Azizian, PharmD, MHA, Chief Pharmacy Officer
  • Daniel Kudryashov, PharmD, MHA, Medication Safety Officer 
  • Jason Ly, Pharmacy Supervisor 
  • Hooman Milani, PharmD, MBA, Clinical Services Manager
  • Faiza Morado, PharmD, Antimicrobial Stewardship Manager 
  • Jay Rho, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy 
  • John Shin, PharmD, Pharmacy Operations Manager 

Infection Prevention Team | Northern Arizona Healthcare

Flagstaff, Arizona

VigiLanz provides a ton of insight and confidence with infection surveillance. With the ability to develop a variety of reports and to share data more quickly, we have developed system-wide awareness that has allowed us to meet organizational infection prevention goals.

Linus Nienstadt, Infection Prevention Practitioner

Entry Details

The infection prevention team at Northern Arizona Healthcare is being recognized for using VigiLanz infection control surveillance to decrease hospital acquired infections (HAIs), reduce the number of patients in unnecessary isolation, and lower exposure-related costs.

In fiscal year 2023 alone, Northern Arizona Healthcare experienced approximately $124,000 in cost savings due to a 61% reduction in CAUTI, CLABSI, and C. diff infections.

How did they do it? A variety of ways, including:

  • Using VigiLanz reports to gather baseline data on HAI and regularly monitoring these reports to identify improvement opportunities
  • Implementing several HAI-related alerts through VigiLanz to ensure more proactive interventions

For example, the team receives a VigiLanz alert if a provider places an order for tuberculosis testing or C. diff screening. The team also receives an alert as soon as the lab result is posted. This enables the team to identify isolation needs more quickly and helps eliminate possible exposure.

The team also uses VigiLanz to identify inappropriate C. diff testing, for example, by monitoring C. diff screening alerts against prescription data to identify patients who are receiving laxatives for other conditions.

Team Members

  • Oluwafemi Abimbade, MBBS, MPH, CIC, Infection Prevention Director
  • Deborah Bescak, MSN, RN, Infection Prevention Practitioner
  • Eric Bohn, Infection Prevention Practitioner
  • Marlene Gaither, CIC, REHS, MPA, ME, Infection Prevention Practitioner
  • Lacey Lemke, MPH, Infection Prevention Analyst
  • Linus Nienstadt, MPH, CIC, CMIP, RN, Infection Prevention Practitioner


Deksha Taneja, System Director of Infection Prevention | Adventist Health

Los Angeles, California

Deksha is just one of those people who is always on it. She’s very vigilant, very active in the system, and is always looking for ways to push the envelope and utilize VigiLanz to the best of its ability. Her relentless advocacy for patient care is truly inspiring.

Julie Mullica, MPH, CIC, Infection Prevention Specialist, VigiLanz

Entry Details

Deksha Taneja, MHA, BDS, CIC, HACP, LTC-CIP, is being recognized as our first ever Clinician of the Year thanks to the tremendous contributions she has made as the System Director of Infection Prevention at Adventist Health.

One of her most ambitious projects has been using VigiLanz to pursue system-wide rule standardization in alignment with regulatory requirements to ensure compliance and efficient use of resources. Adventist Health is made up of many care sites, and each one previously had the ability to implement its own rules over time. Deksha is leading the charge to standardize IP rule sets across the system – ensuring that each site is producing clean, consistent data and is calling everything the same way.

Deksha has also used VigiLanz to make improvements in workflow processes, pacemaker surveillance, AU/AR data submissions, system-wide reporting, and other large endeavors. Her leadership, drive, and hands-on attitude has helped to strengthen her infection prevention program across all levels and push her system in new directions.


Generational Health Team | Sharp Memorial Hospital

San Diego, California

VigiLanz reports have been used to alert pharmacists of interaction concerns, high risk medications, and potential for safer future recommendations. These reports have been broadly reported to physicians for process improvement. The team has embraced this technology as a mechanism to improve relationships amongst nursing, therapy teams, providers, and pharmacy. The collaboration has been unparalleled.

Diane Wintz, MD, Trauma Medical Director and Director for Generational Health

Entry Details

At Sharp Memorial Hospital, a multi-faceted team is being recognized for using VigiLanz to support a best-in-class program that the hospital created to optimize care for older patients—from pre-admission through discharge and clinic follow-up.

As part of the program, a Doctor of Pharmacy is assigned to each inpatient unit in the emergency department, as well as observation areas, to work with the medical team on high-risk medications and interactions. The collaborative team uses approximately 1,800 VigiLanz rules to support the work by identifying opportunities for medication management intervention.

Upon admission, the team also uses VigiLanz to identify which patients have been administered or have orders for high-risk medications, including opioids. By incorporating Beers Criteria—a list of medication guidelines that aid in identifying potentially harmful drug interactions, medications harmful with certain conditions, or medications with potentially harmful side effects—the team is able to reconcile medication lists and optimize prescribing.

But that’s not all. The team also uses VigiLanz reports to regularly identify care improvement opportunities. For example, they created special educational modules for Toradol and Tramadol in the geriatric population and expanded pain/nerve block services after a review of VigiLanz reports showed less opioid use in patients who received these services. The team also uses VigiLanz reports to track compliance with certification requirements for Geriatric ED Accreditation, Geriatric Surgery Trauma Program Verification, and more.

Team Members

  • Gregory Blank, PharmD, MBA, Vice President of Clinical Services, Administration
  • Matt Dehner, PharmD, formerly of Sharp Memorial Hospital, who contributed to the team’s success
  • Kimberly Mills, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist Leader and Supervisor
  • Stacy Nilsen, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Generational Health
  • Pam Wells, MSN, MSA, RN, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services
  • Diane Wintz, MD, Trauma Medical Director and Director for Generational Health 
  • Kelly Wright, Manager Generational Health


Pharmacy Team | Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill

Mullica Hill, New Jersey

When we first implemented VigiLanz, adverse drug events were our priority. We have now incorporated VigiLanz into our antimicrobial stewardship, opioid stewardship, and pharmacist clinical worklists. We have been so impressed with VigiLanz and its ability to help our pharmacists make meaningful interventions that benefit our patients.

Lauren Pino, Pharmacy Clinical Manager

Entry Details

The pharmacy team at Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill is being recognized for using VigiLanz to enhance monitoring for adverse drug events (ADEs).

Prior to VigiLanz, the team relied on a cumbersome process to identify potential ADEs—checking and cross-checking a lengthy and vague medication list that was generated through the EMR.

After implementing VigiLanz, the team used reports and real-time alerts to identify potential ADEs. The result? The number of adverse drug reactions identified per quarter increased from an average of 9 to 50—more than a 450% increase.

Overall, the team says the use of VigiLanz’s pharmacy workflow solutions is leading to more, and more meaningful, identifications of ADEs as well as increased pharmacist productivity.

Team Members

  • Edward Dix, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy
  • Dave Lanza, Clinical Informatics Pharmacist
  • Jennifer Lihach, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist
  • Lauren Pino, PharmD, Pharmacy Clinical Manager
  • Danielle Williams, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist

Antimicrobial Stewardship Team | Keck Medicine of USC

Los Angeles, California

There are countless projects that clinical surveillance has enabled our team to pursue, subsequently supporting our efforts to improve our patients’ health outcomes and to design education initiatives that enhance prescribing practices system-wide.

Faiza Morado, Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist

Entry Details

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Team at Keck Medicine of USC is being recognized for using powerful data mining tools to identify and support several quality improvement projects.

One of the most exciting uses to highlight? The team’s use of the antibiogram feature to review resistance patterns across the hospital and within specific units. Based on Keck Medicine antibiogram data, the team created an antimicrobial stewardship treatment algorithm for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteremia using blood culture results.

The team also pulled microbiology results to help validate the treatment algorithm. In the standard group (not using the treatment algorithm) 83% of patients showed appropriate de-escalation and 2% showed appropriate escalation. With the new algorithm, the percentage with appropriate de-escalation increased to 88%, and the percentage with appropriate escalation increased to 4%. Moving forward, the team plans to customize alerts specific to antibiotic escalation and de-escalation.

Other key ways the team uses clinical surveillance to support their antimicrobial stewardship program include:

  • Accessing more granular data regarding antibiotic utilization to help focus energy in high-usage areas.
  • Using reports to track compliance with guidelines, such as those related treatment duration guidelines.

Team Members

  • Faiza Morado, PharmD, Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist
  • Neha Nanda, MD, Medical Director Antimicrobial Stewardship, Interim Chief of Infectious Diseases


Pharmacy Team | Antelope Valley Medical Center

Lancaster, California

We wanted to change our pharmacist practice style from a ‘task-based’ pharmacy model to a ‘whole-patient care’ model. VigiLanz created a patient rounding list that allowed us to do that. It has completely changed our clinical practice and what we evaluate from a pharmaceutical care perspective.

Amber Miller, Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator

Entry Details

The Pharmacy Team at Antelope Valley Medical Center is being recognized for working closely with VigiLanz to develop a proactive pharmacy assessment that is now available to VigiLanz users across the country. The assessment, also referred to as a patient rounding list, helps pharmacists quickly and effectively conduct patient evaluations, and as a result, it supports more proactive interventions.

The assessment—which is a prime example of the benefits of using VigiLanz to think outside the box to identify care and efficiency improvement opportunities—is continuously updated throughout a patient’s stay, enabling the pharmacy team to expand its patient evaluations exponentially through every clinical service line. The assessment has also replaced a much more cumbersome alert and paper-based sorting process.

The assessment tracks baseline antimicrobial choices, resumption of important home medications, disease state therapy optimization from day of admission, and de-escalation of intensive care unit-specific medications once patients are downgraded, and more.

Team Members

  • Erin Bess, Pain Management Pharmacist
  • Amber Miller, Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator
  • Julie Snyder, Emergency Medicine Pharmacist, Residency Program Director

Infection Prevention Team | Jackson-Madison County General Hospital

Jackson, Tennessee

We’re identifying patients who may require isolation sooner, which is enabling us to act sooner. The new processes are also saving time, which enables our infection preventionists to spend more time rounding on units and interacting with staff.

Cynthia Cole, Director, System Accreditation

Entry Details

The Jackson-Madison County General Hospital Infection Prevention Team at West Tennessee Healthcare is being recognized for using VigiLanz to enhance hospital acquired infection (HAI) prevention efforts.

How are they doing it? A variety of ways, including by creating and issuing VigiLanz alerts when:

  • Organisms of concern are identified
  • Patients involved in potential outbreaks are readmitted
  • Patients with Candida auris are readmitted

Overall, the team says this had led to a streamlined, system-wide approach for infection prevention, eliminated workflow redundancies, and simplified the process of reporting illness to the state department of health. The team has also decreased its HAI standardized infection ratio to below national averages for CAUTI, CLABSI, C. diff, and targeted SSIs.

Team Members

  • Rita Bailey, Infection Preventionist
  • Bronda Davis, Infection Preventionist
  • Terri Hammonds, System Director of Infection Prevention and Control
  • Claudette “Dede” Kendrick, Clinical Manager of Infection Prevention and Control
  • Jennifer Phillips, Infection Preventionist
  • Pennie Phillips, Infection Preventionist
  • Alesia Potts, Clinical Manager of Infection Prevention and Control

About the Vigi Awards

The annual Vigi Awards are designed to recognize how clinicians’ vigilance has contributed to healthier hospitals. In addition to broadening awareness of optimal and innovative uses of VigiLanz to support patient care, VigiLanz provides winners with a donation to the charity of their choice.

Read About Our Winners

Discover the creative ways that our star customers have made their hospitals a safer place with VigiLanz.