• Before the Big Game

    Mar 01, 2012

    From the Editor

    By Rob Fromberg, Editor-in-Chief

    "It involves professionals working together in the same environment in different roles."

    pg05_editor-letter-rob-frombergBy the time you read this, the 2012 Super Bowl will be just a memory.

    But as I write this, the Super Bowl is three days away. I suppose I could beg for an extension on my already-extended deadline and mention who won the game, the big plays, the best commercials, and the quality of the halftime entertainment. But instead, I find myself interested in this particular moment-the time before the big game.

    That moment reminds me of health care. We always seem to be on the cusp of something momentous, usually promulgated by the federal government-today it's value-based payment, ICD-10, and health insurance exchanges, to name a few.

    In the case of the Super Bowl, one way to look at this moment is that, unless you're a player or perhaps a coach, there's not much you can do to affect the outcome of the game.

    It's possible to take the same attitude in health care, especially when it comes to the government's role. It's easy to wait and see what the regulations will look like, to assume compliance deadlines will be pushed back, and to wait and see how the competition will react.

    But in the case of the Super Bowl, there is another way to look at this moment. Although the players may be the only ones who can win or lose the game, the Super Bowl is far larger than just a game. For more than a year, the city of Indianapolis has been planning how to manage the influx of people, from free concerts in Super Bowl Village to full-body scanners at the entrances to the stadium. Companies and ad agencies have been huddled together, looking for the best way to spend $3.5 million on a 30-second advertisement. And hundreds of sound, light, and stage designers have been creating the spectacle we expect from the half-time show. All this activity is coordinated to provide a safe, seamless, enjoyable experience … no matter who wins the game.

    Similarly, leaders in all healthcare stakeholder groups-patients, purchasers, payers, and providers-have been working hard to transform our healthcare system into one that delivers safe, seamless, effective care … no matter what legislation or regulations come out of Washington, D.C.

    This issue of Leadership is full of examples of that transformation in action. "This isn't just about new process flows," says ThedaCare's Jamie Dunham, MS, RN, about the organization's new Collaborative Care model. "It involves professionals working together in the same environment in different roles." Dunham is just one of many professionals profiled in this issue who show you how they've seized this moment in health care to transform the system.

    Speaking of transformation, we've made a few changes to Leadership with this issue-new columns and departments, refreshed layout, more photographs. These changes are the result of coordinated effort among our designers, production artists, content experts, writers, sources, sales reps, advertisers, and readers. Special thanks go to HFMA's technical director Todd Nelson for his content direction and boundless enthusiasm and to Maggie Van Dyke, the managing editor of Leadership, for her devotion to every detail from overall direction to the effectiveness of every word. A winning team, I'd say.  

    Rob Fromberg is editor-in-chief, HFMA (rfromberg@hfma.org).