The acronym for America’s Blood Centers’ “core values,” IDEA, represents Innovation, Data Integration and Benchmarking, Education and Networking, and Advocacy. Although these values are not unique in themselves, they become powerful tools for ABC to serve its members. These tools are where the knowledge and leverage ofalloutweigh that ofone.
Over the last couple of months, ABC has been refocusing its resources on advocacy and education, supporting these values with a renewed energy in the ABC Data Warehouse (DW) efforts. ABC staff has been working diligently on a new initiative to improve the processes for entering and validating the data coming into the DW. With over 50 percent of member collections already being pushed to the DW, this repository of member blood center data will become a valuable tool in supporting our advocacy and education work.
As ABC refocuses and reshapes its core values, I have been asked, “What happened to the “I” in the core values? Has ABC abandoned innovation?” The answer is an unequivocal no. An organization that does not embrace new ideas or opportunities is not serving its membership well. Innovation is, again, an area in which ABC’s collective knowledge and leverage outweighs that of any one blood center.
One only has to look at some of the successes of the past to assess the value of innovation to ABC members – the recent reduction in blood center items covered by the proposed medical device tax; the quality engineering programs that led to IMPAQ (Improving Manufacturing Practices and Quality); Blood Centers Exchange (BCx); the ABC-D program that helped increase donations offsetting the decline experienced in the early 2000s; Appropriate Inventory Management (AIM); and the Foundation for America’s Blood Centers (FABC), which funds initiatives that benefit and support ABC members.
Yes, there have been some bad “I”s along the way, but success and innovation can only come from a willingness to try new things. Although it is not currently ABC’s main focus, Innovation has certainly not fallen off our radar, and should opportunity come knocking, we’ll be ready to open the door and help members start a conversation.
William Coenen, Interim CEO; email@example.com