Hospital Quality Institute Vanguard Award 2016


2016 Vanguard Award Winner:

Advanced Illness Management (AIM) - Sutter Health

2016 Vanguard Award Finalists: 

Eliminating Wrong-Site, Wrong-Procedure and Wrong-Patient Errors (WSPEs) - Sharp HealthCare

ICU Liberation: Improving Hospital Survival and Reducing Brain Dysfunction at 7 California Community Hospitals - Sutter Health

Monterey County Prescribe Safe Initiative - Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

Strategies to Reduce Wrong Site-Side Surgery/Procedure - St. Jude Medical Center


Click here to see other application submissions for the 2016 HQI Vanguard Award. All applications are posted in the spirit of mutual sharing and learning.


Stay tuned: 2017 Vanguard Award announcement coming soon!


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 area of patient safety, quality improvement and experience. Qualified submissions demonstrate successful implementation of strategies that have produced performance improvement in one or more of these three topical areas, while also addressing sustainability and scaling 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 physicians as 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 and priorities 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, learning, joy and meaning in work.
  • System engineering and design in patient safety, affecting both the clinical processes and systems of care.
  • Implementing a culture of safety built on systems thinking, respect, accountability 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 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 or at (916) 552-7600.

Scoring Criteria

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

  • Significance: how significant is the problem being addressed?
  • Innovation: how original/innovative was the intervention/design?
  • Integration: to what extent did the work integrate more than one area of focus (safety, quality and patient experience) as well as integrate into daily operations?
  • Results: what was achieved and how was the achievement measured/evaluated?
  • Sustainability: how likely is it that the achievement will be sustained?
  • Scalability: value to others and likelihood of wider adoption and spread.