'Active Surveillance: Part 1'
CAERS SUBSTACK ARTICLE #13
‘ACTIVE SURVEILLANCE: PART 1’
CAERS SUBSTACK ARTICLE #13
I recently took my car in for routine maintenance at the dealership where I had purchased it, and the very next day I received an email from them inquiring as to my satisfaction with their service. Why would they do that?
It has become increasingly important for any good business to know whether their product or service meets the needs of the consumer. A successful car dealership is not going to wait until all of their former customers stop utilizing their service department, or stop buying their cars, before correcting their business model. This process of monitoring in real time, so as to know what works well and what doesn’t work so well for their customers, is referred to as ‘active surveillance’.
Although this can occasionally be annoying, most of us appreciate the fact that at some level our satisfaction matters to those who provide products or services for us. This is particularly true the more highly we value that product or service. We are not nearly so worried about whether a donut meets our expectations as we are that our furnace does in midwinter.
So, it struck me as rather odd that the authorities recommending, and eventually mandating, the C19 injections did not engage in active surveillance given their dire warnings that SARSCoV- 2 was very contagious and highly lethal. When it comes to something as important as health, I would have thought that such a process would be automatic. If my car dealer cares that much about my satisfaction with a very popular car that has been in production for more than two decades, I thought that our government would have been at least as thorough when they mandated potentially life-saving injections that were still in the experimental phase of development and utilized a brand-new technology, one that used genetic material no less.
But, alas, that did not seem to be the case. The authorities told us to get the injections and never directly inquired as to how well they worked for us, or if there was anything about them that disappointed us. And they easily could have, because there are so many ways to follow up with any ‘customer’ these days, especially when you are the government.
And given that the government had assumed liability for the injections, and hence would be responsible for compensation if anyone experienced an adverse event from them, it would have made eminent sense for an independent organization to do the active surveillance in order to avoid conflict of interest. This could easily, and cheaply, have been done in a confidential fashion using one or more of the myriad technologies available for follow-up.
So, in a democratic country like Canada, where almost every good business engages in active surveillance, why was active surveillance not done for the C19 injections? What possible excuse could there be when literally millions of lives are at stake? Much like listening for what hasn’t been said, paying attention to what has not been done, like active surveillance, is very important, too.
Maybe it is time for us to do our own active surveillance of those who have been elected to look out for our best interests, especially our health and, indeed, our very lives. After all, the medical profession has been doing active surveillance for many decades precisely for this reason, and we will explore that more in our next article.
J. Barry Engelhardt MD (retired) MHSc (bioethics)
CAERS Health Intake Facilitator
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