I asked last week for alternatives to HCAB, and if those who are a member of
HCAB are pleased with it.

HCAB used to do research on any topic for any member hospital and then share
that research in "Fact Briefs".  These reports were full of substance and
beautifully presented, and they did hundreds per year.  Every topic
imaginable was covered; they even had three Fact Briefs on how to manage a
hospital library.  A few years ago HCAB dropped this service and now they
only provide forecasting and marketing information for upper level
management.  Venues are teleconferences, meetings, a few reports per year,
and a daily email news service.  They apparently stopped taking questions
from non-administrators; at least in our case after years of kind, helpful
service, they no longer answer our calls and emails.

Three librarians responded that they benefit from the email news service.
One said the reports are still helpful.  Is it worth the incredible price of
membership?  A couple of respondents are cynical like me.  After all, my
hospital pays more for one section of HCAB than for my entire electronic
resources budget.  But one respondent says that her hospital subscribes to
all sections of HCAB and she handles it so all that money is in her budget.
Her administration thinks HCAB is invaluable.

I extend a huge thank you to Michelle Volesko at the New Jersey Hospital
Association.  She sent a list of alternatives, attached below.  And she
helped me understand that upper management wants primary research, not the
secondary research that we librarians are so equipped to do.  Now I am
really curious about an email posted earlier today by Diane Wolf at
Christiana Care where she says that the CEO and vice-presidents are her
primary constituents.  What do you have that they want, Diane?  I don't feel
equipped, in resources or training, to meet the primary research needs of
our administrators.  They all know me and they know that the rest of the
system uses our services extensively, but they've never asked me for
anything.  I would love to see a discussion on Medlib-L of how to serve
hospital administrators.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my query.

Beth Treaster, MSLIS
Health Sciences Library
Saint Francis Hospital
6161 S Yale
Tulsa, OK  74136

[log in to unmask]
Voice 918-494-1210      Fax 918-494-1893

To replace HCAB, your administrators need access to expert consultants on
retainer, to provide regular briefings on topics either via meetings or
publications, researchers to do customized primary care research for
questions, and market-based research.

Typically, others who do this type of consulting are:

1. "Big-8" accounting firms do this, if they have a 'practice' that
specializes in health care. The Big-8 is no longer  8, but probably 4,5309,8753%7C%7CBS%7C12%7C62,00.html but you get
the idea. For example, the PriceWaterhouse Coopers area for Health Care is
but one of the examples: and


1. Deloitte & Touche
Ten Westport Road
P.O. Box 820
Wilton, CT 06897-0820
Tel: (203) 761-3000
Fax: (203) 563-2324

2. Ernst & Young LLP
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Tel: (212) 773-3000

University Relations
Three Chestnut Ridge Road
Montvale, NJ 07645-0435
Tel: (201) 307-7000
Fax: (201) 307-7575

4. PricewaterhouseCoopers
1301 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Tel: (646) 394-1000

Group B or the second 6 firms:,5309,8753||BS||62,00.html?f=insidecfo

Grant Thornton, headquartered in Chicago
BDO Seidman, Chicago
BKD, Springfield, Missouri
Crowe, Chizek and Co., Indianapolis
McGladrey & Pullen, Bloomington, Minnesota
Moss Adams, Seattle

2. Healthcare consulting firms, and many specialize in particular 'practice'
areas. Lewin is but one of hundreds of examples:  See also, Gale's reference on Consultants
and Consulting, a reference book that has a subject specialty index.

3. State hospital associations--  Provides
services to hospitals in it's state or service regions. Though a state
hospital association's ability to do custom consulting is limited by the
types of for-profit initiatives they may or may not have. Small hospital
associations probably do not offer such customized services, though most
would offer continuing education and meetings.

4. Market-research firms for that aspect of the HCAB service. There are also
wonderful reference services that can help a hospital administrator in this
regard, these are just a few:

You would contract with accounting, consulting or market-research firms for
the services you need. I do not believe there is a well-known pre-packaged
"contract" that would replace all that you get from HCAB, but you never
know. All of this is probably expensive, and maybe more than HCAB.

You would also want to know that the consultant adhered to a code of ethics
from a professional organization. There is an American Association of
Healthcare Consultants and a  National Association of
Healthcare Consultants and ACHE has a special
interest group for healthcare consultants

********* Email Confidentiality Statement *********