I dislike the term "value-added." I realize why the term exists and the importance of differentiating between delivering blood products and providing a comprehensive service approach to support hospitals. I just think the phrase somehow minimizes the very essence of the vital services that are often called "value-added."
You will find an article in this week'sNewsletterabout BloodSource's extremely effective blood management program for their hospitals. This is just one example of the extensive array of excellent services that ABC member blood centers deliver to their hospitals every day, helping to define their centers as partners in delivering superior patient care. In an era of cutbacks, strained bottom lines, and tough choices, one might argue now is not the time to advance value-added services to hospitals; I would vehemently disagree.
Providing blood products to hospitals for patient care is a critical role we all play, but our value proposition to hospitals goes well beyond simply providing blood products. Blood centers have the expertise and resources to deliver optimum blood therapy support, including effective blood utilization strategies, transfusion service support, physician consultation, and world-class reference services. This is an area where creative partnerships can readily extend valuable services to our hospitals. In fact, I would argue that we may be well served by reversing our viewpoint, such that our primary role becomes what we call "value-added services" and that our "value added" is that we also provide blood products.
Although such a claim is certainly an extreme way to make the case for the need to integrate more closely with our hospitals, I believe we can articulate a compelling case for this perspective. Just by observing the success of our members' many partnerships with their hospital customers, one can easily see the financial merits, as well as the resulting improvement in overall hospital support gained through increased integration with hospitals. Admittedly, it is easier to measure our success by tracking how many products we distribute than to monitor the much more elusive "value-added" services. However, closer integration with our hospitals and the ability to clearly define our value in those relationships is crucial to thriving, rather than simply surviving, in our current environment.
ABC is hosting a Quality Education Webinar this coming Monday on providing value-added services to hospitals. I encourage ABC members to participate, share ideas, and leverage our network to expand the role that these services play in our work. Perhaps someone will even come up with a phrase other than "value-added."
Dave Green, Board President; email@example.com