Provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) encourage hospitals to work with their communities to improve population health. Like so many things, these efforts can and should begin at home—in this case, the hospital itself. Health and wellness programs for healthcare workers need to be emphasized, according to “Health and Wellness Programs for Hospital Employees: Results from a 2015 American Hospital Association Survey.”1
Such efforts allow healthcare workers to lead by example.
“To help create a culture of health, hospitals and health systems can provide leadership, and hospital employees can be role models, for health and wellness in their communities,” according to the report. “Developing health and wellness strategies and programs at hospitals will help establish an environment that provides the support, resources, and incentives for hospital employees to serve as such role models.”
Developing health and wellness programs can also help hospitals achieve the public health goals of the Healthy People 2020 initiative from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
To find out how hospitals are doing in this work, the 26-question survey was done in 2010 and again in 2015 and sent to approximately 6,000 hospitals in the United States. Response rate was 15% in 2010 and 18% in 2015. Some of the findings include:
- About the same number of hospitals have a health and wellness program or other initiative(s) for employees (86% in 2010 and 87% in 2015); however, the types of health and wellness programs and benefits that hospitals offer to their employees increased.
- The number of hospitals with 70% to 90% or more of employees participating in health and wellness programs increased from 19% in 2010 to 31% in 2015.
- The number of hospitals offering health and wellness programs to people in the community increased from 19% in 2010 to 66% in 2015.
- The number of hospitals offering incentives for participating in health and wellness programs increased as did the value of incentives, with more hospitals giving $500 or more to employees (7% in 2010 and 29% in 2015).
- Health Research & Educational Trust. Health and wellness programs for hospital employees: results from a 2015 American Hospital Association survey. Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence website.