continues to play Healthcare Super Tetris
Damon Braly. Health Management
Technology. June, 1996.
of Healthcare Super Tetris is to fit together the pieces to
move to the next level.
I admit it. I like to play computer games. And judging from
the conversations that I have had with many of HMT's readers,
I'm not alone. Don't worry. I'm not going to divulge the names
of the HMT readers who have told me they like to get in a
quick game on their desktop computer in their office when
the boss is away. Your secret is safe with me.
is my game of choice. For those of you who are not familiar
with the game--or refuse to admit it--the concept is simple:
Fit together odd-shaped pieces (like building blocks) to make
one large piece without holes or gaps. As pieces are successfully
joined, you move to the next level of the game.
bear with me a little longer. This game has more in common
with the healthcare I/T industry than you might think.
for example, Atlanta-based HBO & Company. This company continues
to fit together the pieces of many companies in an effort
to eventually offer a comprehensive solution to integrated
delivery systems. HBOC's letter of intent to acquire Scottsdale,
Ariz.-based CyCare is a perfect example (See "HBOC gains access
to physician market with proposed CyCare deal" on page 8).
The acquisition allows HBOC to tap into the physician practice-management
piece fits nicely into the HBOC pieces that are already assembled.
With this piece in place, HBOC will definitely advance to
the next level of the game.
the HBOC pieces are not yet fully assembled, according to
healthcare I/T industry analysts. The gap that remains is
the ever elusive and particularly odd-shaped managed-care
to the next level of the game and get an all-time high score,
HBOC needs to acquire a managed-care software company, according
to analysts. The other choice is to develop a comprehensive
managed-care system, but that would take too much time and
not give HBOC the access to an established customer base.
Tetris, as you progress with the game, the pieces no longer
fall at a leisurely pace. They start coming at you faster
than you can control. You no longer have the luxury of taking
the time to calculate and manipulate where the pieces should
fall. Before you know it, the pieces are scattered in a haphazard
arrangement and the game is over.
industry moves incredibly fast. And, no matter how fast your
company is going, your competitor(s) always seems to be going
a step faster. Opportunities come, and sometimes go by, at
what seems like light speed.
reflexes are sharp--too sharp their competitors sometimes
say. It will be interesting to see the outcome of how well
HBOC plays the Healthcare Super Tetris game.
any game, be sure to keep an eye on the "new kid on the block."
New players continue to come into this market. And, I don't
know about you, but the "new kid" down the block from my house
plays a pretty mean game of Tetris.
1992 Ziff-Davis Publishing Company