Show Notes - Week of November 11, 2019
Greetings from 53.5° north latitude, where it was well above freezing today, but of course all that means is that the puddles will freeze overnight. Still very little to show for the week now that I have worked 28 straight days without a break. The fatigue is really becoming a factor. Only a couple articles of note, and a couple beers. Hopefully there is more to report in the upcoming week.
More on Capitalism:
HBR published this article entitled "Is the Business Roundtable Statement Just Empty Rhetoric?" back in August, but it only came to my attention in the last week. I have written about capitalism a number of times on this site. This article highlights a potentially important shift in the ultimate purpose of a corporation. Shareholders have been touted as the primary concern for organizations for nearly fifty years. Shareholder primacy is the cornerstone of neoliberal economics. But now the Business Roundtable is shifting away from shareholder primacy to creating value for all stakeholders. Their one sentence mission statement states the promotion of the (American) economy "through sound public policies".
This would be a significant shift for companies as it would require moving from a short-term to a long-term outlook. A move to focusing on results through sound public policies would force companies to do more than just make money. It would put them on equal footing with society, which of course they are a part of, in finding solutions to today's big issues.
... the world faces enormous, thorny challenges that business is feeling: climate change, growing inequality (and awareness that these CEOs make hundreds of times more than their employees), water and resource scarcity, soil degradation and loss of biodiversity, and more. These issues require systemic efforts, cooperation, and pricing of those “externalities” (like pollution and carbon emissions) that business has been able to push off to society. The current shareholder-obsessed system is not fit for this purpose. Individual profit-maximizing businesses will not be incentivized to tackle shared global challenges.
I'll keep reading more from the Business Roundtable group and will see if they have other information worth reporting.
More on Huawei:
Back in July, I commented on the security threat posed by Huawei and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute's push to socialize that threat. Last week there was an article in the Globe and Mail outlining how Canadian intelligence agencies could not agree on whether to ban Huawei equipment in the upcoming 5G communications networks. The article is unfortunately behind the Globe's paywall,
The article highlights how CSIS wants to ban Huawei while the CSE says "robust testing and monitoring of Huawei's 5G equipment could mitigate potential security risks". Security is not easy. It is a constant battle of detect, respond, change, and repeat. The foes on the Internet are constantly forcing us to adapt and react. Forcing security teams to focus on testing the network infrastructure in addition to all the work that is required to testing what is running on the network is ludicrous. We don't have enough resources to do the work we need to do now. Adding to the workload is a bad idea. I am fully behind the position that CSIS is taking: ban Huawei now.
Two new beers this week. The first was the Sunset Summer Ale from Smithers Brewery. I had their Hudson Bay ISA last week and this ale wasn't quite as good as that one. It had a bit of caramel nuttiness, low carbonation, and a high ABV at 5.5% for an ale. It was good all around but not exceptional.(3.25 / 5) The second was another Backalley Brew from Alley Kat. This was nice and light., with a little zip from some tangy carbonation. Tasty without screaming "pay attention to me". (3.5 / 5) No badges from Untappd this week.
Hello from a snowy and icy 53.5° north latitude. It seems like each year we get freezing rain and snow early in the winter which means we end up suffering through icy, bumpy sidewalks all winter. Let's just say that 2019 did not ditch that trend and as a result, I should have had my studded tires on for the ride in to work on Friday.
You will notice that there was no post last week. This was due to the overwhelming crush of work for the launch of our new system. More on that below. Beyond that, there wasn't much to report so sit back, relax, and enjoy a few paragraphs on what has consumed most of my waking hours in the last several weeks, and most of my working hours for the last three years.
3, 2, 1, ...
For the past three years, my team has been preparing for the launch of the new clinical information system (CIS) at Alberta Health Services along with several other teams from across the organization. We wanted to make sure that every process we ran, every report that we produced, every requirement we had, was built into the CIS. We also said that if we didn't do something for CIS, then we didn't need to do it for anything else and we would therefore drop it from our workload.
The CIS vendor selected was Epic and the clinical transformation program built around the Epic platform became branded as Connect Care. We are a large organization and as a result what we launched last Sunday at 04:00 was just the first of a nine wave launch. As this story summarizes, Wave 1 is primarily concentrated in Edmonton’s Walter C. McKenzie health campus and laboratories, which includes the University of Alberta Hospital, Stollery Children’s Hospital and Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, among others.
The launch was not without drama though. The nurses union expressed "grave concerns" about the level of training and education received in advance of launch. Then a few days after launch, issues with delivery of lab results were noticed, and one physician alerted the media about the issue. Nothing is perfect of course, but I am proud of what we did to get to this point. Next week I plan to start a multi-week review of what my team did to prepare for Connect Care in the last three years. For now, congratulations to all of my colleagues who were involved in the successful launch!.
Just two new beers this past fortnight. The first was the Hudson Bay ISA from Smithers Brewery. Lots of grapefruit pith to add some dryness, with a nice hazy look, and a faint citrus aroma. Good stuff. (3.75 / 5) That got me the Veteran's Day (2019) and Pale as the Moon (Level 11) badges on Untappd. The second beer was the Wonder Star Botanical Lager from Flying Monkeys. I really liked this one since it had so much flavor. Smelled like Wine Gums, tasted like Red Lifesavers. (4.0 / 5). That one got me the Brewery Pioneer (Level 44) and The Great White North (Level 88) badges on Untappd.
Here is a picture of the Bernard Snell Hall in the University of Alberta Hospital. We have spent a lot of hours in this auditorium leading up to launch of the system, and even more in the last week as it hosts two of our bigger daily meetings. This picture was taken last Saturday afternoon before launch, and the quiet and emptiness of the room was haunting as I stood there.