Healthy hospitals are a cornerstone for healthy communities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitals no longer solely provide preventive care services but are also a moral entity that can help their communities establish a much-needed commitment to health.
Hospital executives are key in setting the standard and supporting wellness initiatives for their employees and community. These include creating initiatives to support improvement in policies, benefits, culture, and environment.
Building new employer relationships in local communities is more important than ever and the key to driving, not only greater awareness of hospital services but also in bringing patients to other specialty care and lesser known services and delivering new revenues.
Connecting with employers is key and hospitals need to meet their local employers on their level with a perspective of the employer’s pains and challenges, not the other way around.
The switch from care provider to an outreach and sales mentality takes a mindful approach and conscious shift. People need hospitals when “something” happens but they may not realize how much they need hospitals when “something has NOT YET” happened too (i.e. prevention).
Hospitals are employers too, and all employers need to know where their costs are coming from. Employers need accurate measuring sticks to know where they need to target resources, and then the ability to measure the results of these programs. What role can hospitals play in helping improve the following?:
- Every person in the U.S. pays $221/year whether or not they smoke (Louis Sullivan, former HHS secretary)
- 21% of healthcare costs are related to obesity ($190 billion annually); Obese people spend 105% more on prescription drugs vs. non-obese (Brookings Institution study)
- Employers lose $164 billion/yr. in obesity-related costs (behavior change, absenteeism, etc.) This will rise to $580 billion by 2030 if things don’t change! (RWJ Foundation)
When 25 cents of every healthcare dollar spent is on lifestyle behaviors that can be changed, hospitals are better poised than any other entity to offer programs, services, support, and education to shift these costs in a positive and meaningful way.