His name is Joe and we were both in the same waiting room at Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco. He caught my eye because he was so nicely-dressed, looking much classier than the anxious people one typically sees in dreary HMO waiting rooms. Joe makes a habit of dressing nicely all the time. He likes to look good because he’s a dance instructor in San Francisco. According to his card, he can teach you the Tango, the Cha-Cha, and the Boogie. I can give you his number if you’re interested…
(South San Francisco, California 2016. See more of my work here.)
In Colorado, you are allowed to enroll your children in school without them having had all their supposedly required vaccines. Instead, Colorado parents are allowed to sign a waiver and then enroll their children. According to a KCFR/Colorado Public Radio interview with a medical researcher working for Kaiser Permanente, this fact partly explains why Colorado has about 800 cases of pertussis (aka whooping cough) a year, one of the highest rates in the country.
Kaiser Permanente (KP) is a large HMO that maintains its patient records in electronic form, a fact that makes the records very useful for researching disease. A new study performed by researcher Jason Glanz of KP finds that children who have never received a pertussis vaccine are 23x more likely to catch the disease than children who have been vaccinated. Of the approximately 800 cases of pertussis per year, that works out to 767 children who might not have caught pertussis if they’d been vaccinated, while only 33 children would have caught pertussis even after receiving the vaccine. Continue reading →
When a new innovation comes along, corporations typically follow a predictable arc. First there’s the “Ignore It” phase. Then, once it becomes clear that it’s actually important, they dive into the “Getting It All Wrong” phase. The first step in Getting It All Wrong is “pretend that the new thing works like all the old things.”
Eventually they get past these early “ballistic podiatry*” activities and begin to figure things out, although there’s often a step, which falls late in Getting It All Wrong, called “Hire a Consultant Who Was Successful at Other Things But Barely Knows More Than You Do About The New One.” Sometimes these outside hitters have read a book, but mainly they rely on the tendency of executives to overgeneralize about prior successes.