2 min read
07 Jun

Employee wellness has never been more important, particularly in healthcare, where employees are at the forefront of dealing with patients suffering from different illnesses and diseases. As such, many healthcare organizations have introduced wellness programs with the aim of supporting their employees' physical and emotional wellbeing. However, for these employee wellness programs to be effective, they must be backed by science and focused on real numbers. This blog post will discuss how healthcare organizations can revolutionize their employee wellness programs to better support their employees. 

Wellness programs have been around for years, but few are specifically designed to meet the needs of healthcare workers. This is particularly concerning since healthcare workers are at an increased risk of stress, burnout, and other health-related problems that can directly affect their ability to provide quality patient care. Consequently, wellness programs in healthcare should be evidence-based and focus on both physical and emotional wellbeing. 

One area where wellness programs could be revolutionized is by incorporating musculoskeletal health. Musculoskeletal issues are the second most common claim among healthcare workers, yet few wellness programs address this issue. A musculoskeletal program should not only help employees with mild MSK issues but should also target comorbidities associated with MSK problems, such as obesity. Obesity can lead to other health issues, such as cancer and diabetes. By addressing MSK issues and their associated comorbidities, healthcare workers can improve their overall wellbeing, reduce absences from work, and improve patient care. 

Another aspect of revolutionizing employee wellness programs is by incentivizing employees to measure their health at least once a year. Employers should offer incentives to employees who take regular physical exams and track metrics like blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, among others. Regular monitoring will help employees stay aware of their health, detect health issues early, and take concrete steps towards improving their overall wellbeing. As their wellbeing improves, employees will be able to perform better and provide better care to their patients. 

However, it is essential to note that incentivizing employees is not enough. 

Healthcare organizations need to invest in wellness programs that are backed by science and focus on real numbers. In the past, most wellness programs had budgets, but with no real oversight or measurement. Today, the situation is different, with the advancement of technology, metrics can be tracked, and results measured. Wellness programs that focus on outcomes, rather than just measuring steps and weight loss, tend to be more effective in driving healthy behavior change. 

For healthcare organizations, implementing such wellness programs can result in reduced healthcare costs and a healthier workforce, which can lead to an improvement in patient satisfaction and quality of care. However, the big question is, how can HR professionals initiate employee wellness programs with limited budgets? 

To implement such programs effectively, HR professionals should focus on measuring specific health markers and work with healthcare providers that provide program data on ROI and healthcare savings. Avoided healthcare expenses regarding claims can be shown once the wellness provider is identified. For instance, a provider can offer data on a person going from a pre-diabetic state to a healthy state. Such a person is likely to avoid spending a large amount of money in the future. Focusing on these types of data will enable HR professionals to justify the cost, support employee wellness, and showcase the ROI to decision-makers. 

In conclusion, wellness programs are an essential component of employee wellbeing in healthcare, but for them to be effective, they must be science-based, focused on real numbers, and show results. Initiatives like incentivizing employees and incorporating musculoskeletal health can improve employee wellbeing, reduce healthcare costs, and promote better patient outcomes. 

At its core, employee wellness programs in healthcare should be seen as an investment in the workforce, patient care, and the future health of the organization.

The Bo & Luke Show Team