2017 Hospital Quality Institute Vanguard Award
Application Deadline: June 20, 2017


The application is now closed. Thank you for your submissions.


The vision of Hospital Quality Institute (HQI) is that California hospitals will lead the nation in patient safety and quality performance with high reliability and zero defect in care on behalf of the people and communities they serve. They will lead through respect for people and a culture of habitual excellence.

HQI Vanguard Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the areas of patient safety, quality improvement, and experience. Qualified submissions demonstrate successful implementation of strategies that have improved performance, while also addressing sustainability and spread of the work. The strategies used could include, but are not limited to, the following building blocks of organizational change:

  • Cultivating commitment through shared leadership and accountability for safety, quality, and patient-and-family-centeredness. This may include among other strategies, engaging physician leaders and patients and families as active partners in safety and quality improvement.
  • Enhancing strategic planning processes to fully integrate (patient and workforce) safety, quality improvement and patient experience within the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Enhancing the capacity to gather, refine and disseminate customer knowledge and performance data as the basis for decision-making and action. This includes but is not limited to, patient and family satisfaction and complaint data, payer requirements, employee and physician satisfaction data, as well as measured performance on quality indicators and aggregated event reporting.
  • Advancing the systemic and rigorous measurement of strategies to achieve clinical effectiveness, person-centeredness and reliability.
  • Advancing evidence-based medicine, evidence-based practice and clinical decision support, as well as building implementation evidence across the full continuum of care.
  • Enhancing and protecting a culture of professionalism and teamwork that fosters respect, joy, and meaning in work.
  • Using reliable systems design and systems engineering, affecting both the clinical processes and systems of care delivery.
  • Implementing a culture of safety built on respect, accountability, reliability, and resilience.
  • Establishing infrastructure including technical and facilitative resources, educational vehicles, and communication channels to support aims and strategies, and to reduce cost and unnecessary complexity.

For questions regarding the Vanguard Award program, please contact info@hqinstitute.org or at (916) 552-7600.


  • All member hospitals and health systems are invited to participate.
  • Multiple applications from the same organization are accepted.

For questions regarding the Vanguard Award program,  please contact info@hqinstitute.org or at (916) 552-7600.

Key Dates

  • Application is due by June 20, 2017
  • Selection and notification of awardees will be completed by the end of August 2017
  • Public recognition of awardees will be unveiled at HQI’s Annual Conference, November 1-3, 2017 in Monterey, CA

Scoring Criteria

A panel of expert judges will evaluate the merits of each submission using the following criteria:

  • Significance: how significant is the problem being addressed in the specific organizational and community context of the application organization?
  • Innovation: how original/innovative were the designs, methods, or implementation processes?
  • Integration: to what extent did the work integrate more than one Vanguard area of focus (safety, quality, and patient experience)?
  • Results: what was achieved, to what extent did the work integrate into daily operations, and how appropriate were the measures and time periods used to demonstrate results?
  • Sustainability: how well has the application demonstrated that sustainability was achieved and/or the likelihood that change will be sustained over time?
  • Scalability: value to others and likelihood of wider adoption and spread.