I just completed my normal weekend reading of accumulated journals, memos, mailings and other literature. At the top of my list was MODERN HEALTHCARE. I don't know if I'm getting too old after 40 years in this field or if the field of healthcare administration has lost sight of its purpose.
In reading the Nov. 18 issue, it appeared the articles were full of distrust, anger, hostility, anxiety and conflict. There were hospitals against hospitals, physicians against hospitals, hospitals against government, government against hospitals, hospitals against insurers, and on and on. I recall from college the term "content analysis," whereby one can get a good feeling of trends and issues by reading headlines of a publication and taking a close look at the text.
In vain, I searched for a positive article related to what we can do to improve healthcare. Aren't we all in this together? The news was filled with such nonpositive terms as "sugary rhetoric, card trading, dealmaking, hospital manipulating, unilateral termination, drive-through procedures, disputes heating up," etc.
Many say we're in a period of necessary consolidation, shakeups (maybe shakedowns!) and other traumatic events. After this period, maybe things will get smoother. Hopefully, that day isn't too far ahead, and then we can all settle down together to work on our real purpose-to deliver not only the best care but improve the health of all communities.
DAVID S. RIDDERHEIM
President, chief executive officer
Parkview Health System, Fort Wayne, Ind.