Solutions were to 1999 as new paradigms were to 1995. That year, new paradigms, it seems, were growing on trees, they were that common. Now, solutions are even more in evidence. You can't walk down the sidewalk without stepping in one. For instance, the following are all from news releases and other marketing and public relations efforts:
"McKessonHBOC Pioneers Physician Telephony Solution."
"Medical application solutions used by the physician at the point-of-care have long been considered to be the Holy Grail in the healthcare industry.... iMedica.com will offer Internet-enabled solutions."
"PeopleSoft eMarketplace To Deliver End-to-End E-Commerce Solution."
"U.S. Medical Network has developed an Internet-based solution to the claims- and referral-processing headache."
"There is a Netopia Virtual Office web site solution."
Solutions, of course, are where you find them, such as this one in a generally useful magazine: "... now may be a good time for practice managers to consider the alternative open source solution for their enterprise."
Years ago some sharp guy said you shouldn't sell products, you should sell solutions. But his advice has been ignored: Mostly, folks are just labeling their product a "solution," even when there is no problem to solve. It shows a clear lack of respect for your intelligence and mine. And it debases the value of "solution." It used to have power, that word; now it's a husk.
If you're advertising a "solution," you may be part of the problem.
So you can see why I'm hoping it has peaked, that '99 was the year of the solution. And 2000? Despite the problems we point out in our substantial disease management package, starting on Page 20, DM, unlike solution-mongering, is not all hype.
In fact, 2000 could be the beginning of the disease management decade.