Letters: Our institutional IT talent disappoints - again
Our state is filled with top information technology talent and yet our institutional IT professionals routinely produce inadequate responses to our public information technology needs.
Think about the inappropriate, amateur results Oregonians experienced with professional IT responses in the Portland Water Bureau billing debacle, the signups for the Affordable Care Act, the inability to process unemployment checks in 2020, and now the state's and Legacy Health's failure to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of seniors needing (COVID-19) vaccinations.
Would the institutional IT professionals, who are now regretting their product designs and results, please share, for the sake of learning, the flawed scenarios they were using to guide their designs for these vaccination websites?
I'm not suggesting a public shaming but rather a public sharing. We don't need humiliation but we do need humanization of how we think through the use of technology tools. People and information are isolating in silos and the silos just stunt our learning.
Offer us some hope that our resources won't be squandered in a blind lurching forward to the next crisis. Or, do you ask us to normalize failures like these because "…we just don't understand IT?"
We suffer the fact that no one in the IT and public health care communities had the situational savvy to see the obvious logjam coming and design for it. OK, that's water under the bridge. Now it's time to make a plan for consolidating the lessons learned along with a leadership structure that will guide us more skillfully in the future.
Vaccine rollout flop deserves a pie in the face
Having spent hours each day with other Portland area seniors trying in vain to get an appointment for COVID-19 vaccinations for my wife and me, I want to send a digital pie-in-the-face to my Kaiser Permanente chief executive officer, the Oregon Health Authority leadership and especially Gov. Kate Brown for showing us and the rest of the nation what they are incapable of doing.
Swimming happily in member monthly payments, the health plans involved should have opened clinics for their members and let health authority help the rest of the public at the Oregon Convention Center.
Instead they chose the gulag approach.
And lots of extra whipped cream on those pies.
Frontline grocery workers need hazard pay
I have worked for more than 31 years as a grocery store cashier, and the union has provided union wages and health care that allow me to survive. Yet many workers across the food industry in Oregon are paid minimum wages and lack adequate health care to make ends meet.
I see a lot of patrons shopping at my and other stores. This, to me, means that these companies are making massive profits. Yet instead of sharing these profits, I see hazard pay removed and hours temporarily cut.
If the companies are making profits by opening up drive-thru pick up orders while cutting hazard pay, then something is wrong.
I try to provide safe social distancing at work where ever possible, but sometimes patrons don't abide by the rules. The grocery industries need to share their profits if they put us at risk of infection.
In Seattle, the City Council recently passed an ordinance to have a $4 an hour increase in hazard pay. It is regrettable that some businesses such as Kroger are threatening to close stores under the guise of not making enough profit.
We need hazard pay in Oregon, not only for grocery workers but the entire food industry, from the farmworkers to the processors, drivers, delivery people and the like.
Glenn Allen Kirkindall
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