One Year Smarter

Edition: January 2002 - Vol 10 Number 01
Article#: 1147
Author: Mark Thill

It's a new year, so I'm bound and determined to adopt a positive outlook toward the world and this business, at least for a while. I'm willing to look at things with an open mind and wide eyes. I'm willing to believe in something. In that spirit, let me trumpet two articles in this month's issue that point to a better tomorrow in the health care supply chain.

The first is our article about women in management. While it's true that women broke into the sales force long ago, the fact is, relatively few are company owners or high-level executives. The stories of Michelle Deen, Anne Eiting Klamar and Cindy Juhas show us the rich potential that exists in our industry today. As Deen says of herself and her partner, Elise Johnson, ''We're emotional, but not irrational.'' She continues, ''Men seem to lock horns on issues that women just walk through.'' Imagine a world without egos!

The second is our article about Consorta Catholic Resource Partners. It's the story of a GPO that is trying to take a ''big picture'' look at its mission. Yes, low prices are essential; its hospital members expect nothing less. But through such programs as resource management, benchmarking and best practices, Consorta believes that the really big dollar savings lie somewhere other than purchase price. As Consorta's Organizational Effectiveness Director Jean Livingston says, ''When you really deconstruct the way processes occur in health care organizations, you see that it truly is the clinical decision that drives operations and the resulting financial outcomes.'' That truly is a different way of looking at things. It opens up doors that many providers and suppliers never even realized were locked.

So, there is reason to look forward to 2002. We're one year older and maybe, just maybe, one year smarter too.