95 Percent Effective Against Catastrophic Failure

Improvement Insights Blog

95 Percent Effective Against Catastrophic Failure

If you had a countermeasure that was 95 percent effective at preventing catastrophic failure of your company or business, how long would you wait to implement it?

(The best resource I’ve found for locating vaccine appointments is https://www.vaccinespotter.org/).


“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“Let me ask you: if you had a countermeasure that was 95% effective at preventing the catastrophic failure of your business and your company, how long would you wait to implement that?

“Back in 2014 right before Thanksgiving (the day before Thanksgiving) I came down with the flu and I was sick as a dog for 10 days. Now, I didn’t know this because my doctor did not tell me, but the flu should only last five days. At the end of that five days I was starting having trouble breathing and my wife said “I’m taking you to the emergency room” where they diagnosed me with pneumonia, and then I spent five days in the hospital on oxygen with IVs in my arms running antibiotics. Ugh, that was nasty. And then I spent another 30 days on oxygen at home just to get to the point where I could breathe on my own successfully.

“Now that year I’d taken the flu vaccine but it was only 14% effective. I also got the pneumonia shot but that only protects you against one pneumonia out of 87 varieties of this stuff. I’ve since gotten the Prevnar 13 one which protects me against 13 more.

“As I get older, I tell you what: I don’t ever want to be sick like that again. I don’t ever want to be sick like that again. Now if you’re like me, you probably have a phobia of needles. I had the good fortune of finding a pharmacist some years ago who taught me how to relax my shoulders and my arms and get those all loosened up so that when I got an injection it wasn’t so crazy. That phobia formed when I was a kid, right? Because the needles in the 50’s were about the size of a 2×4 it seemed like, because you’re a small kid and it’s a big needle.

“These are the kinds of things that I think are holding people back from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s not about freedom; it might just be about fear of needles, so go find yourself a pharmacist and ask them if they can help you learn how to relax so that you can receive it more easily.

“Now I had the first dose about three weeks ago and I was woozy for about 10-15 minutes and I was better, and I felt a little lethargy and things like that for a day or two but then I was fine. I got the second dose last Friday, and you know my arm hurt but that was about it. I had a chill – one chill – and then I had a little funny feeling the next day and that was it. Now I know other people have more significant reactions: my cousin had a little bit longer one.

“So this is something that I think is good for you, for your family, for your friends, for your co-workers, for the entire nation, for the entire world. If we find a way to defeat this this virus totally.

“When I was a kid, guess what? We all took the polio vaccine because polio was a problem, right? My aunt Charlotte had polio as a kid and it affected her for a very long time. We also got vaccinated with little pokey things in the arm to keep us from getting [smallpox] But we’ve eradicated some diseases simply by vaccination.

“Now I’m just asking you: If you had something you knew was 95% effective against catastrophic failure of your body where you’d have to go to the hospital and you might die, would you implement that or would you come up with some excuse not to?

“I’m Jay Arthur. That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s go out and improve something this week. It might be your health and your immunity to COVID-19. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”

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