How much do you move during the day? What do you eat? How do you manage stress?
If you’re an employee who sits at your desk all day, you’re most like burning about 51 calories an hour, depending on your weight.
If you’re a nurse in a hospital working the day shift, you’re walking an average of five miles a day.
Studies show that those of us who sit all day are at a 40 percent higher risk for chronic diseases and early death.
“We spend one-third of our waking hours at work, and our lifestyles and health are greatly influenced by our work environment and our behaviors during the workday,” says Anne Dunn, Wellness Program Coordinator at Van Wert County Hospital.
Dunn is one of several Health Promotion Coordinators in the West Central Ohio Regional Healthcare Alliance, a network of community hospitals that promote wellness in the community and work together to provide occupational health and wellness services to area employers, including their own hospital employees, manufacturers, and administrative offices. Healthcare clients include Vancrest Health Care Centers, Therapy Solutions, Home Health Care Solutions and Pharmacy Solutions.
“Employers have the opportunity to encourage and reinforce positive health behaviors and have a positive impact on not only the employee’s health but the
health of the family and the community as a whole,” Dunn says.
And as surprising as it may sound, the CliniSync Health Information Exchange is helping deliver real-time results to employees who want to be screened for lipid profiles (cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL), fasting glucose
for diabetes, blood pressure and heart rate, waist circumference and body mass index.
In the past, it could take two weeks before employees received their results, but today, they can get results before they leave the screening and lab results within 24 hours.
Historically, the screening event would occur and then the lab process. Pieces of data had to be manually entered into a health risk assessment portal, and reports were then printed out and mailed. It could take a couple of weeks to get the patient information processed before the employee received it.
With the use of a secure, HIPAA-compliant MediKeeper portal for patients, biometric screening results are securely uploaded into the system so participants can access their results in real time.
“I received my first email saying my labs were imported within two hours of my screening appointment. By the next morning I was able to log in and see all of my results and start working on a plan to become healthier,” says Paul Bohner, Environmental Services Supervisor at Van Wert.
Another employee, Julie Sanders, a purchasing clerk, says she received a same-day call from her primary care doctor. “By 4 p.m. that day, I had already received a call from my doctor’s office saying they had reviewed my lab results and everything looked great. Amazing!”
Along with screening results, employees complete a series of questions to determine their level of health risk, develop a personalized wellness plan and share their results with their physicians and family members. Coordinators work can help companies develop and implement policies and health promotion programs within their organization to support employees as they engage in their own health.
With 350 employees at Van Wert, Dunn reports that since 2011 results indicate that BMI went down by 8 percent, blood pressure by 6 percent, LDL cholesterol by 7 percent and tobacco use by 8 percent.
“Companies have the opportunity to work with a Health Promotion Coordinator to develop and implement a comprehensive health and wellness program and take the crazy out of tracking rewards and incentives, managing challenges and aggregate reporting for company trends,” Dunn says.
For employers, this can translate into a reduction in health care expenditures and workplace injuries, better productivity from employees who are managing chronic conditions, and the improvement of overall health and productivity within the company.
For employees, it’s a chance to work for a great company that offers helpful, practical programs in a nonjudgmental business environment.
“I just have to tell you what a wonderful experience I had at the screening today,” says another Van Wert employee Sue Thatcher, RN. “The flow was fast and everyone was upbeat and helpful. I enjoyed each station I attended. The most difficult part was the lab draw and that went well. I wanted to commend you on your direction and effort to streamline what can be an unsavory task. I'll admit my numbers are my numbers to own, but getting there and not feeling criticized is half the battle.”Dottie Howe is the Communications Director at CliniSync/Ohio Health Information Partnership.