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Mumbo jumboree. (From The Editor).

Two months ago, Publisher Mike Hilts called Associate Editor Phil Lassalle and asked, "What's m-commerce?" E-commerce we knew well, but not m-commerce. Phil quickly researched and reported back: It stands for mobile commerce. But not to worry, said Phil. In his research, he found articles indicating that m-commerce is gasping its last, resembling a never was more than a has been.

Technology treks at lightning speed, I admit--but so fast that three editorial staff missed a crucial trend altogether? At one level, the answer may depend on whether you find it a critical advantage to charge vending machine soda and theater tickets to your cell phone bill, or whether you similarly envision (or want) healthcare commerce transacted via the same technology. Nevertheless, m-commerce has found its way into the barrage of media alerts and product releases that infiltrates our desks, and--we marvel--at a time when many healthcare providers strive to embrace yesterday's news, old-fashioned e-commerce.

I'll risk the wrath of m-commerce zealots everywhere when I purport that the significance of m-commerce to 2002 healthcare delivery remains to be seen and that, at present, it represents an example of the power of words to attract, entice, embellish and over-represent a mountain where a lesser phenomenon exists.

Which leads me to my point--the incalculable power of words, period. In this 2002 Resource Guide, you will find nearly 1,200 healthcare IT companies specializing in everything from credentialing to scheduling to wireless software--but with, we hope, a difference over past years' guides. This year, we have scrubbed and sanitized company descriptions to be maximally utilitarian and purposeful for you, the IT user and buyer.

Several weeks ago, we embarked on a harrowing mission to strip commercialism from Resource Guide supplier descriptions--emanating from the fact that nearly 40 percent of all companies described theirs as "the nation's leading provider of ..."--and to go to press with just filet mignon and potatoes. We accomplished this by first deleting all adjectives and adverbs--so of course we decreased the total verbiage by 50 percent--and by subsequently recrafting verbs reminiscent of Superman comics such as igniting, emblazoning and (my personal favorite) revolutionizing.

We hope that the 2002 Resource Guide is a product you want to keep within reach, and that you find the suppliers and sources you need in its pages. Because the HMT Resource Guide is an arduous labor of love, we welcome suggestions from you, the real healthcare IT experts, on how to improve in 2003.

As a lifelong devotee of words, let me close by sharing with you one of the delights of my life, the Systematic Buzz Phrase Projector, which some say originated from the Royal Canadian Air Force. The directions are simple: Pick one from column A, one from column B and one from column C. String three or four of these babble-phrases into your next management report and befuddle your colleagues.

Column A: integrated, total, systematized, parallel, functional, responsive, optional, synchronized, compatible, balanced.

Column B: management, organizational, monitored, reciprocal, digital, logistical, transitional, incremental, next-generation, policy.

Column C: options, flexibility, capability, mobility, programming, concept, timeframe, projection, hardware, contingency.

On second thought, don't try this at work.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Blair, Robin
Publication:Health Management Technology
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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