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Meet August’s Member of the Month: Wanda Lane

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wanda’s favorite element about AHVAP is NETWORKING! She says, “When I began in the field, I had no idea what I was doing. AHVAP was rich with friendly people who were willing to share their experiences and take me under their wing.”

What’s one thing personal you’re willing to share?

I am blessed to be the wife of an amazing man, the mom of three teenagers, bonus-mom to three adults and nana to two grandchildren! I speak at events as an advocate for families of addicts and am in the process of writing a book outlining five steps to protecting yourself, your children, and your financial future when married to an addict.  I feel extremely blessed to have survived the ordeal and emerge as an advocate for a forgotten group.

3 professional or personal accomplishments?

  • Set up the value analysis program for a 400 bed safety net hospital, and developed a robust vendor claim validation method using quasi-experimental design.  
  • Written and presented programs on Generational Culture and Diversity, Communication, and Merging Science and Supply Chain.
  • Completing the coursework for my doctorate was incredible! The dissertation process is daunting, but fun.  

Tags:  ahvap  member of the month  Wanda Lane 

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Exploring the Generational Culture Concept

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 18, 2015

By Wanda Lane, RN, MaED, Clinical Value Analysis Manager, Regional One Health


Birth Years

Generational Characteristics

Political\Social Influencers



  • Loyal
  • Risk Adverse
  • Team Players
  • Strong respect for authority
  • Struggle with communication technology
  • Great Depression
  • World War II

Baby Boomers


  • Higher priority given to work over family
  • Optimistic
  • Risk Takers
  • Distrust authority
  • Generally resist communication technology
  • Civil Rights movement
  • Vietnam
  • Great Recession\ Hyperinflation economy

Generation X


  • Higher priority given to family over work
  • Adaptive
  • Independent
  • Openly question authority
  • Adapt to traditional or electronic communication
  • Technology explosion
  • Latchkey syndrome*
  • Economic Boom or “Wall Street” economy



  • Higher priority given to friends over work
  • Optimistic
  • Strong team influence
  • Require ample feedback from authority
  • Entitled
  • Prefer communication technology
  • Technology immersion
  • Helicopter parents
  • Everyone gets a trophy syndrome*
  • Dotcom economy
  • Pre & post 911 cohorts





After 1996

  • Highly networked
  • Problem solvers
  • Fiercely Independent
  • Tech intuitive
  • Creative
  • Altruistic
  • Post 911 culture
  • Terrorism
  • Poor economy
  • Bitter political divisiveness
  • Social Networking

Diversity has been a business buzzword for the past couple of decades regarding race, ethnicity, and gender; however, a relatively new concept is moving to the forefront.  Generational culture is a concept that is beginning to seep into the diversity conversation. Webster defines culture as-

  • the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
  • the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also:  the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time

Applying this definition to the behaviors of the five generations sharing work space, it becomes clear that generational culture must be accepted as a diversity element and addressed by leadership.

The four primary workplace generations have been Traditionalists (born 1925-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X’ers (1965- 1980), and Millennials (1981- 1995). They have established traits and stereotypical behaviors that are readily accepted and “managed” in the workplace; however, the conversation typically focuses on differences and conflict opportunity. The newest generation entering the workplace is the NetGen generation. They are the youngest of the group, and in some ways the best prepared for the dynamic political and technological future.

The key to understanding generational diversity is to change the conversation to one of generational culture.  The definition of culture assigns groups of people beliefs, customs, social behaviors, and acceptable norms. Each generation has been shaped by the political and economic events of the times. Traditionalists were raised by survivors of the great depression and many remember the events leading to World War II. Their culture tends to be very self-sufficient and risk adverse.  Baby Boomers grew up during a time of optimism and re-building following the war. They are hard-working, dedicated to a fault, and place great value on stability. However, they also vividly remember civil rights movements and equality marches of the 60’s. Generation X’ers are the middle generation, sometimes called forgotten because they were the first generation of latchkey kids. They tend to be fiercely protective of personal time and work\life balance. They also became very self-sufficient at a very young age; therefore, they do not deal well with micro-managing or overly needy employees. Millennials are the first generation to be raised by parents who gave them a voice in the family decision-making process. This spills over into the workplace with young employees expecting to be treated as equals from the beginning. They were also the first generation raised in the “everyone gets a trophy” culture; therefore, they expect praise for simply showing up to work. This creates some tension in the workplace if the origin is not readily apparent.

Understanding the cultural aspect to approaching generational diversity deepens the conversation, promotes understanding, and narrows communication gaps in the workplace. To complicate matters further, Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers, and Millennials each have defining moments that led to cohorts of people born before and after the event. For example, and older Baby Boomer who was a young adult during the 1960’s has a much different perception of the civil rights movement than a Boomer born in 1963. An older Gen Xer vividly remembers life before cellphones, computers, and other technologies. Millennials’ dividing event is 9-11. Older Millennials remember the attacks and the fear that swept our nation, younger Millennials have little concept of life before the economic downfall following that day. They have only known life after terrorism preparedness, sluggish economy, and political distrust.

Changing the conversation from one of discussing behaviors to one of cultural differences allows a shift in perspective. Moving focus from annoying behaviors to cultural awareness encourages respect and enhances communication. This change in perspective opens doors to a change in perception and that lays the foundation of respect and teamwork.

Seen Around the Web: Resources and Tips

Tags:  AHVAP  Clinical Value Analysis Manager  Exploring the Generational Culture Concept  Wanda Lane 

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Is Your Value Analysis Program a Bridge or a Rope?

Posted By Susan A. Toomey, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
By:  Wanda Lane
Clinical Value Analysis Coordinator

How many times have you heard “why should we bother evaluating a different product? Our opinions don’t matter anyway; it’s all about the dollar.” Or “why are we considering more products to solve a practice problem, can’t nurses just scrub the hub?” Maybe “clinically unacceptable or just not pretty enough…clinicians need to learn about costs.” If you have heard comments like these and others, your Value Analysis program probably feels less like a bridge and more like a rope in the healthcare tug of war. 

Bridging the gap between clinical and materials management worlds, Value Analysis professionals provide information to both sides that would otherwise be left open for interpretation. This unique understanding of the logistical and contract obligation language, coupled with clinical knowledge, enables the VA professional to communicate clearly with both sides of the equation. Patient care delivery and product features motivate clinicians, sometimes frustrating Materials Managers who are cost focused. Value Analysts walk freely in both worlds.

Value Analysts also step into the crossfire when the two worlds collide. Dwindling revenue streams, increasing costs and sicker patients put hospitals in a position of financial strain, forcing changes in practice and heightened cost awareness.  These changes frustrate clinicians and materials staff alike, but Value Analysis professionals can thrive in this environment if they follow a few simple rules.

1.      Acknowledge your personal internal conflict. Many VA professionals are clinicians, gifted with a unique perspective. We empathize with our clinical peers and understand the priority on patient care in a personal way versus an abstract concept. Yet, because we understand the financial side of the equation, we are obligated to hold clinicians more accountable for their fiscal awareness.

2.      Present both sides of the arguments fearlessly. Hospitals that survive in this economic environment are making adjustments. VA professionals who openly share the good, bad and ugly of every situation garner trust from both sides, thus improving cooperation.

3.      Use humor. Learn to laugh with, and at the situation. Listening to clinicians argue vehemently that the facility must pay six figures for a product because it is easier to use, while at the same time complaining about the need for more nurses is amusing, frustrating, but amusing. Watching a supply distribution technician explain politely that the facility does not have an in-house stock supply of that “blue clippie thing” can be funny. The situation may not be funny, but the behaviors are. It is all a matter of perspective.

4.      Accept what you cannot control. Clinicians will find work-arounds to the most robust processes. Materials managers will block excellent clinical initiatives because of hard costs. Value Analysis’ role is to provide information to both sides objectively and clearly. Neutrality enhances fairness and trust, elevating your credibility and value to the facility.

Healthcare is fraught with challenges, while also ripe with opportunity. Understanding both sides of the equation positions the Value Analysis professional as the go-to person. Use your unique perspective to advocate for the ultimate customer- the patient!

If you identify with this article, please leave a comment.

Tags:  AHVAP  Healthcare  Hospitals  materials management  Practice  Protocol  Supply Chain  Value Analysis  Wanda Lane 

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