We’ll Deal With Change in 2011

John Marcille

Television news outlets scream for attention every minute of every day. Newspapers sometimes have three or four stories that might deserve the headline above the fold; sometimes nothing makes the grade. Still, they publish even when news is slow. There always has to be a headline or lead story. One day it may be man walks on the moon, or the discovery of a bacterium that’s able to use arsenic in place of an element previously considered essential for life; the next it may be man buys new car.

After a while, consumers might get a bit confused as to just which story means more. I am being facetious to make a point: The adage about journalism being history’s first draft doesn’t help those of us trying to prioritize.

I have no doubt that 2010 will go down as a watershed year for managed care. There’s just no ignoring the fact that the overhaul of the nation’s health care system, which had been a goal since the Truman administration, finally occurred. Damn it or bless it, you can’t ignore the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Health care reform will have an effect on most of the subjects touched on in this issue: from our cover story on the challenges in managing specialty pharmacy, to our look at how new technology (in the form of mobile and social media) might make change more possible, to how nurses and pharmacists might fit into the system.

Clinical executives face new challenges, and will be asked to come up with solutions. And I am not too proud to ask you, the reader, for answers — using, of all things, new technology. Our story about ER overutilization offers an interactive opportunity that allows you to discuss how you attack this problem.

Like you, we’re modifying our approach. Like you, we have to.