The Takeaways: Week 6 of 2022

Leadership lessons, job title shenanigans, thoughts about product (and what happens when what you though was product-market fit starts to slip), and the idea that one should thinking of testing as a circuit breaker for assumptions in the code.


Melissa Perri, host. Product Thinking. Episode 54: Answering Questions About Market Research Skills, Reactive Product Management, and Career Next Steps (February 9, 2022)

William Vincent and Carlton Gibson, hosts. Django Chat. Django Testing and Debugging - Karen Tracey (February 9, 2022)

[Karen Tracey:] The reason you want to test suite is to be able to make changes and have confidence that you haven't broken anything. Whereas a lot of people ,I think, come to testing thinking... [that] it's to prove that your code works, and that's not really the goal. It's more to make your code maintainable, meaning someone can change it later and your tests will indicate to them whether or not is having some unexpected side effect of breaking previously held assumptions.


Chas Roades and Lisa Bielamowicz, MD, Gist Healthcare. The Weekly Gist: February 11, 2022

Meeting with a system executive team to discuss a new approach to virtual care delivery, [the CEO of a digital health startup] described the cross-enterprise collaboration required, and said, “You could see everyone looking around the table to see what everyone else thought, before anyone was willing to react.” No surprise, as complex bureaucracies don’t reward risk-taking by leaders; often, innovation is slowly suffocated by internal politics and turf-protecting behavior. That’s why we often repeat advice from one of the most progressive, successful system CEOs we’ve worked with: “You’ve got to eliminate the vetoes if you want to get stuff done. I don’t let people leave the room until we’ve managed to set aside all the reflexive objections and arrive at a resolution. I expect leaders to be solution-driven, not objection-driven.

Dan Shipper, Superorganizers. The Fall of Roam (February 12, 2022)

The whole thing moved away from Roam because I started to worry again about where to put things.

This might seem trivial, or useless, or reductive. But it is actually quite valuable. If we're really using Roam to regulate the emotional experience of not knowing where to put a note, then that suggests a lot of product changes Roam could make to perform better at that job.


Reed Albergotti, The Washington Post. Every employee who leaves Apple becomes an ‘associate’ (February 10, 2022)

Inside Apple, your job classification can mean a lot. The difference between a “level 4” engineer and a “level 5,” for instance, could mean a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. And those titles help determine how much Apple employees can make when they leave the company for another job. But there’s a hitch.

In widely used databases that companies refer to for verification of job information, Apple changes the job title for every employee, whether they’re a PhD in computer science or a product manager, to “associate,” the company confirms.

Mohana Ravindranath, STAT. As data sharing ramps up, health insurers wade into patient privacy debate (February 10, 2022)

AHIP told STAT it’s entering the discussion now partly because of recent federal data sharing rules requiring payers in federal programs like Medicare Advantage to make patients’ data easily sharable, including with third-party apps. HIPAA generally only covers health care providers, insurers, and their business partners. That has created a gray area of governance for consumer app developers, which are generally free to use and share customers’ sensitive health data as long as they aren’t deceptive about it. App developers are largely governed by the Federal Trade Commission, which can act under the Health Breach Notification Rule, which was adopted in 2009 to hold companies not bound by HIPAA accountable for breaching sensitive medical data.

But the agency has never enforced the rule. And AHIP argues that now, with health apps proliferating and new data sharing requirements in place, insurers are left with little choice if customers using a health app log into their insurance account and choose to share their claims. Payers “have to send that information, even if we know it’s a bad actor on the other side, and there’s no sort of certification process, there’s no ability to vet,” said AHIP’s policy lead, Danielle Lloyd.

Steve Pantilat, MD. What is a hospitalist? (February 2, 2006)

[The Society of Hospital Medicine] has an official definition of hospitalists: “Physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Their activities include patient care, teaching, research, and leadership related to hospital medicine.”

Amelia Templeton. KHN and Oregon Public Broadcasting. The Doctor Will See You Now – In the Hallway (February 9, 2022)

In recent days, hospitalizations in Oregon appear to have reached their peak and are plateauing. Salem Hospital staff members hope that as the omicron wave subsides, the pressure will ease up a bit.

Even as it does, it’s still flu season, and health issues that have worsened through the pandemic in Oregon will resurface. “It might not be breathing problems, but it’s alcoholism. It’s suicide,” said Williams, the respiratory therapist. “It’s traumas, it’s all these other things that are what the world is dealing with after coming out of two years of a pandemic. And those are critical illnesses too.”