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Success Stories

Sharp Grossmont Hospital Uses VigiLanz for Fast, Accurate Clinical Trial Recruitment

Customer Profile

Sharp HealthCare, a not-for-profit health system based in San Diego, is made up of four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, three affiliated medical groups, and a full spectrum of other facilities and services. Sharp Grossmont Hospital, the largest healthcare facility in East San Diego County with 536 beds, is known for outstanding programs in emergency and critical care, cardiac care, orthopedics, rehabilitation, neurology, women’s health, children’s health and hospice care.


Sharp Grossmont Hospital is dedicated to expanding scientific knowledge and supporting medical advancements by serving as a clinical trial site. However, recruiting and enrolling patients in clinical trials is a challenging, labor-intensive, and time-consuming process. Industry research suggests that 11% of clinical trials never enroll a patient and 68% of sites fail to meet enrollment targets. When Sharp Grossmont Hospital began participating in a complex clinical trial in early 2020, it quickly became apparent that they were going to face similar challenges.

The trial was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new drug to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome and had a complex protocol that made clinical trial enrollment extremely difficult. Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s clinical research team, who at the time relied on a manual review process to identify eligible patients, found that the workflow was extremely inefficient.

“Screening for clinical trials with extensive and specific inclusion and exclusion criteria is very time-consuming,” said DeAnn Cary, PhD, Director of Research at Sharp HealthCare. “Manually screening for a trial like ours means casting a wide net to find potential subjects since they can be in multiple areas of the hospital.”


Sharp Grossmont Hospital knew there had to be a better way to approach clinical trial enrollment, and in 2020, partnered with VigiLanz to explore an alternative model. VigiLanz Clinical Trial Solution facilitates a more efficient recruitment process by continuously reviewing EHR data to find eligible patients in real time.

Kyra Rashid, BS, MCR, Clinical Trial Specialist at Sharp, said the solution helps the organization identify eligible patients more quickly, including patients who might have otherwise been missed.

“The technology alerts our team as soon as eligible patients are identified, based on the study-specific inclusion and exclusion criteria,” she said. “It screens the entire hospital patient population, which saves us a significant amount of time that can then be reallocated to other initiatives.”

In addition to screening patients for the clinical trial, the solution provides:

  • A dynamic worklist that coordinators can use to view or modify patient eligibility status in real time
  • Automatic alerts that notify coordinators anytime an eligible candidate is located within the hospital network
  • Enterprise-level reporting that coordinators and leaders can use to evaluate study performance and easily evaluate potential clinical trials.

How VigiLanz Works

  • VigiLanz leverages study-specific inclusion and exclusion criteria to automatically review all patients across a hospital network.
  • VigiLanz screens the entire patient population to identify eligible patients in real time.
  • VigiLanz provides automated alerts and notifications to key team members when it identifies eligible patients.
  • Coordinators can track eligibility status, run timely reports, and manage the recruitment process in a customized worklist.


As a result of the VigiLanz partnership, Sharp Grossmont Hospital reduced the time needed to screen and enroll patients in the clinical trial. The time savings and workflow improvements also positively benefited the clinical research team.

“The coordinators’ time is now focused on a more narrowed pool of potential subjects, which allows more time to continue additional screening and accomplish more tasks in our day,” said Cary E. Murphy, BSN, CCRC, Clinical Trial Specialist at Sharp HealthCare. “This makes the team happier and more productive.”

Overall, the partnership:

  • Increased the number of patients screened. VigiLanz increased the number of patients screened to include all ED patients and all patients admitted in all 20 hospital departments.
  • Cut the time spent screening patients in half. The technology solution reduced the time needed to screen patients, freeing up the clinical research team to work on other high-value tasks.
  • Identified eligible patients faster. VigiLanz helped the team identify eligible patients in real time, which was vital to this time-sensitive study.

Another key benefit, Cary said, is the positive impact the new approach brings patients. “VigiLanz has improved our team’s efficiency and helped us ensure more eligible patients can participate in the trial. VigiLanz also helps ensure no potential study participant, regardless of department, is missed. As we work to advance drug and treatment development, we’re excited about how this approach will support those efforts.”

Learn more about how VigiLanz Clinical Trial Solution helps hospitals with efficient patient recruitment for clinical trials.