Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Work Tour

Last weekend my boss sent me a late night email saying: "Interested in traveling to one of our hospitals on Tuesday? We're having a meeting between our supply chain executives and Walmart about the health care industry and I can't go. I think it'd be a good opportunity."

I don't much care for Walmart, mind you, but a chance to visit with executives is almost always a good thing. Besides, I've worked here for 10 months and haven't done any actual tours of facilities. After all, my job is to sit in a back room and think up great ideas that have no practical implication!

It was a really great experience. We got to tour the route that medical supplies, equipment, and drugs take from our central distribution center (where manufacturers deliver them and we warehouse them); to a hospital inventory location; and from there to a patient bed. One of the statistics that our company quotes in presentations is that "based on the current rate of growth, spending on technology, equipment, and supplies with overtake labor expenses in the next 15 years." In a SERVICE industry like health care, that's very unusual. Usually labor far exceeds equipment in service industries.

The tour and discussion really gave me a lot of pride in the health system that I work for. I'm still only now learning about all the different ways that we're really a market leader / innovator. Still, health care is behind the times compared to other industries, but we're pushing hard to catch up.

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