Ten years ago, corporate wellness programs were treated as little more than an impressive employee perk offered only by high-profile companies like Google and Apple. Cover stories in the national press frequently showcased state-of-the-art fitness facilities on corporate campuses with cafeterias offering employees all-you-can-eat healthy, prepared gourmet meals. Although highly publicized, these wellness programs were affordable but for a relatively small handful of highly profitable companies, and designed primarily to keep already overworked employees on the job even longer.
We have learned much about wellness in the past decade, including the realization that until someone takes an interest in their own personal health, no amount of coaxing will convince them to change their behaviors for the better. If your company is ready to realize the cost and productivity benefits of a healthy workforce, try incorporating Healthstat's five step approach:
1. Incentivize Employees. Many people appear stubborn when it comes to taking better care of their health. Often it stems from fear of the unknown or shame that someone else will recognize his or her “flaws.” After working with hundreds of companies across the country, Healthstat knows that having the full support of company leadership and implementing a system of incentives made up of rewards and even soft penalties is the best way to get those with the most chronic health conditions on the road to better health.
2. Engage in Conversation. Asking someone about their likes and dislikes, to describe a typical day, to share a little about the people they tend to spend time with...these are the type of conversations Healthstat clinicians are specially trained to initiate with employees. It takes time to get people to open up about their health, but once they do the path toward better health becomes far more accessible. A well-trained clinician knows how to get people to open up sooner than they might on their own and then begin their journey through the stages of behavioral change.
3. Don’t Scold. No one needs to be rebuked for the health choices they make. Everyday circumstances prevent many of us from making fitness a priority and/or wise dietary decisions. Empathy goes much farther when helping someone walk the road to better health. Clinical professionals can identify chronic health conditions, and those who are specially trained like those at Healthstat can also recognize a patient’s readiness to change. This disciplined approach leads to trust between the patient and provider, which can bring about a willingness to change far more quickly.
4. Approach Wellness From a Macro Point of View. Offering smoking cessation programs may seem like a noble effort, but if there are far more medical claims made for gastrointestinal issues, it may make more sense to implement healthy eating programs instead. Healthstat stands alone in its ability to integrate and use disparate and complex health data to get an accurate read on an employer’s total health population so proper programs are prescribed and implemented.
5. Establish Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Protocols. A patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) is the roadmap of his/her medical life. Every healthcare provider who sees a particular patient adds something to his/her EMR, which is immensely helpful to the patient’s other providers who rely on having an accurate understanding of an individual’s former and current state of health. Healthstat’s proprietary patient engagement system incorporates automatic prompts through each patient’s EMR, telling clinicians when and how best to interact with and coach patients based on their readiness to change.
To create a culture of wellness in your workplace, it’s necessary to first help people become engaged in their health and well-being. Once this is accomplished, the job of treating symptoms of illness and disease is far more easy and effective.
Contact us to learn more about Healthstat's unique approach to health and wellness in the workplace.