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How to read an outcomes report: the Wellsteps example

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

We’ve summarized the four analyses of Wellsteps’ Koop Award-winning program for the Boise School District, and put it all in one Linkedin Pulse.  The bad news is that they harmed employees, fabricated savings figures, and apparently snookered the Koop Award Committee.

However, there is offsetting good news.  Reading this Pulse — and comparing it to the original Wellsteps submission — should help you become a more discerning reader of outcomes reports generally.  That’s the good news for you. (The good news for me is that, after reading this, members of the Koop Award committee might finally buy Why Nobody Believes the Numbers.)

The other good news for all of us is that this should be a wake-up call for the industry that a code of ethics is needed.  To put it mildly, harming employees and falsifying outcomes should not be allowed, and should certainly not win awards. Yes, I realize that is an understatement, like when Lyndon Johnson said: “Killing, rioting and looking are contrary to the best traditions of this country.”

Still, we have to start somewhere, and a good place to start would be: “First, do no harm.”

1 Comment

  1. Jon Robison says:

    good setup …/ and speaking of first do no harm…


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