Wound Care Articles and Insights
March 16, 2022

What Does Van Halen and Brown M&M’s Have to Do With Wound Care?

Mike Comer

More than you think!

If you hear a song by Van Halen, and remember the band, (and after a short and un-scientific survey of my team at the corporate office, that is a rapidly declining number!) you probably think of frontman David Lee Roth. 

In the 1980’s, he gained a reputation as temperamental and self-indulgent which was accompanied by a rumor that he not only demanded that a bowl of M&M’s was in his dressing room prior to each show, but that all of the brown ones be removed prior to his arrival.

The rumor was absolutely true. He even had it written into their contract under “penalty of forfeiture of all proceeds” if the request was not met. But this seemingly prima donna demand actually had a very important role in ensuring his crew and bandmates’ safety.

Too often the band would arrive to find, “many technical errors — whether it was the girders couldn’t support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren’t big enough to move the gear through,” Roth wrote in his memoir. “So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl - well, we’d line-check the entire production.”

Within two seconds of walking into his dressing room, he’d know if the contract hadn’t been thoroughly read and that the safety of both the band and the fans could be in jeopardy. It turned out to be an amazingly effective and easy to determine metric.

At WCA, we believe that complex data needs to be transitioned into simple metrics in order to be effective. We focused heavily on determining what each wound center’s “Brown M&M” was. If we could determine simple and fast analytics, we could possibly identify potential issues before they popped up, improving patient outcomes, while saving our partner hospitals time and money.

By breaking down the six most important components to wound healing, we built a simple dashboard that is on the front page of Luvo, the technology platform that supports every wound center in The WCA Network. It factors in healing times and medicare-based collections among several other indicators, and displays an array of metrics, each color coded (red, green, or neutral gray) to indicate where the director’s attention is needed most urgently. Program leaders can identify problems in their center in two seconds, just like Van Halen’s M&M test. We built this system directly into Luvo. It’s the technology that powers The WCA Network, and, because it pulls its data directly from your EMR, it’s always live and up to date.

This is what we feel every wound center needs to reach its full potential. A totally integrated system that can help you predict, not just report.

To gain access to this tool, and a host of others offered through The WCA Network, reach out to us today and let’s start a conversation. Rock On!

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