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Associate Highlight | Chief Resource Officers

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April 23, 2019 by The Resource Group

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Q: Hi Viji! Before we dive into our other questions, could you start with an overview of your background and how you got into your role with The Resource Group?  

Good afternoon! My career in healthcare began when I was a child. My father was a physician and I was exposed to how much his role impacted people. He and my mother were consistently engaged in activities to better others’ lives. I was raised with this mindset of giving back to my community.  Based on my childhood experience, I grew up knowing I wanted to serve others, as well as influence change so I could serve on a macro level. While earning my degrees in Political Science, Health Administration along with Health Information Technology, I worked through a variety of roles to find a good fit in strategy, operations, and change management. This kept me in consulting for a long time before finding roots in resource and supply management and joining The Resource Group in 2015 as the CRO, first for our Northeast market, and then our North Central market. 

Q: ‘Service’ seems to be a core value for you. How do you define ‘service’ and ‘hospitality’?

The term ‘hospitality’ evokes certain feelings, like being on vacation, relaxed, carefree, and taken care of.  With this in mind, to me, ‘hospitality’ is less about what you are doing and more about how you are doing it. ‘Service’ on the other hand, is the actual action of completing something in a timely, considerate, and thoughtful manner; and in doing so, you are amplifying the light within yourself and in others. By combining both ‘service’ and ‘hospitality’, one can create positive reactions and develop meaningful relationships. 

Q: Why are both ‘service’ and ‘hospitality’ important to you in your role?  

‘Service’ and ‘hospitality’ are not two words most would use to describe their healthcare experience. Historically, this has hurt the healthcare industry in different ways whether it be consumer perception or the actual culture of a healthcare facility. The Resource Group is here to change that. In my role, I add both ‘service’ and ‘hospitality’ into everything I do allowing me to build relationships and develop trust. 

Unlike other industries, healthcare, especially in hospitals, deal with the hard topic of life or death. Because of this, you never know what frame of mind someone may be in. The elements of ‘hospitality’ and ‘service’ allow us to connect with our end-users and pay it forward. 

Q: With the shifts in the healthcare industry, what challenges do you foresee and how are you currently preparing your local Value Realization Team to turn these challenges into opportunities?   

There are several challenges I see with the shifts in healthcare. Most of these challenges tie to one thing: the lack of cohesiveness within the healthcare space. Right now, healthcare is fragmented from a business perspective. Each element—insurance, suppliers, providers, and systems—all have their own siloed operations, rules, and goals with conflicting incentives and very little overlap. Although our team is one small component of the overall healthcare landscape, there are ways we can assist in bridging the gap. Over the next few years I hope to lead our local team in figuring out how to tie supplies/supply costs to patient outcomes, price transparency initiatives, and insurance reimbursements. More importantly I want to continuously improve on our multi-directional communication. When we build strong relationships across the Participant sites we are privileged to serve, we can resolve issues or problems before proliferating and focus on our goals and the goals of our end-users.