In hospitals across the nation, long hours, stress, and a fast pace can sometimes leave healthcare workers drained, and that has been especially true since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent KFF/The Washington Post Frontline Health Care Workers Survey showed that 62% of healthcare employees said that worry or stress related to COVID-19 had a negative impact on their mental health, yet only 13% got help.1
Below are a few things Employee Health (EH) professionals can keep in mind when thinking about how best to allocate their resources to programs for employee health and well-being.
Take Employee Preferences into Consideration
It stands to reason that a successful employee health program would include input from the people it’s meant to serve. A 2021 McKinsey report suggests that employers should begin by understanding their unique employee population’s needs and preferences. It’s vital to know how employees themselves define health and well-being and to get a sense of what actions they are interested in taking to address the issues.2 For example, medical staff are often keen to participate in health activities, so providing these types of opportunities may be a great way to meet them where they are and allow them to personalize their health measurements.
Consider the Social Determinants of Health
Health is dependent on a variety of social factors that can include everything from geography to financial stability. So when Becker’s Hospital Review asked hospital healthcare leaders how their organizations promoted employee well-being, several of them mentioned that, in addition to courses on nutrition and sleep, they also offered resources on personal finances and credit repair.3 By doing so, these types of initiatives can offer additional resources and solutions for hospital staff to feel like their overall well-being is a priority.
Make the Workplace a Healthy Space
Hospitals are designed for efficiency, but that doesn’t mean spaces can’t be repurposed for the good of hospital employees. Below are a few considerations that may be worth looking more closely at to help make a hospital-working environment less stressful and more suitable for employees:
- Do the cafeterias offer healthy choices that are easy to make?
- Are the only food options for food-on-the-go vending machine snacks and sodas?
- Do employees have access to fresh air, natural light, quiet spaces, or exercise equipment?
- Do employees have ergonomic chairs and desks?
Ensure Employee Immunization Records are Kept Private
With a large number of employee records to manage, it’s important to assure hospital staff upfront that their data will remain private. One of the best ways to do this is to have hospital software in place that separates health data from other employee records and is also HIPPA secure. By anticipating the needs of hospital workers, engaging them in their own care, and giving them access to healthy options, EH departments can save time and money while creating a successful employee health program that is personalized, proactive, and private.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your EH procedures, check out Net Health® Employee Health.
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1 Kaiser Family Foundation and The Washington Post “KFF/The Washington Post Frontline Health Care Workers Survey,” April 6, 2021.
2 McKinsey & Company, “Innovating Employee Health: Time to Break the Mold?” September 10, 2021.
3 Becker’s Hospital Review, “How 10 Hospitals, Health Systems Promote Employee Well-being,” November 21, 2018.