Posts from July, 2014

Life Balance: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 31st, 2014

Life Balance: Be Careful What You Eat After Stress

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 29th, 2014

A half-pound cheeseburger and fries may be one of the worst things to eat after a stressful argument. New research suggests that for a day after being stressed, people have slower metabolisms and burn fewer calories.

The researchers proved that regularly eating high-fat meals after stress could lead to additional weight gain.

healthy food for life balanceThe study involved 58 women, ages 31-70, who reported whether in the past day they had experienced stress, such as arguments with coworkers or spouses, disagreements with friends, trouble with children or work stress.

To learn how to reduce stress at home and at work, increase life balance and create positive work environments visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to set up a complimentary consult about customizing this powerful program to improve the overall health of your organization.

Nurse Retention: Employee Wellness Programs Pay Off

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 24th, 2014

Employee wellness programs save hospitals money and also save money for the participating employees. These programs encourage staff members to be healthier, stronger and more prepared to deliver excellent patient care.

Hospitals must go beyond generic posters and one-size-fits-all approaches, but must create a culture of health.

Workplace WellnessA successful employee wellness program requires commitment from leadership. A well-known example of strong leadership is the Cleveland Clinic, which has a very well-regarded wellness program. CEO and president Toby Cosgrove, M.D. is very outspoken about the need to encourage employees to get and stay healthy. Among his initiatives, the Cleveland Clinic banned smoking on campus and will no longer hire smokers.

According to Paul Terpeluk, D.O., the Cleveland Clinic’s director of corporate health and employee health, hospitals have an ethical responsibility to introduce wellness expectations. At the Cleveland Clinic, everyone, no matter their job, has some role to play in creating the overall patient experience. In order to do their jobs to their best ability, they need to take care of their own health.

Every team member is a caregiver and we need to be the best caregivers we can be.

To learn how to improve the health of your caregivers, create powerful wellness programs and increase nurse retention visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to talk about customizing this program for your facility.

Increase Patient Satisfaction and Nurse Retention with this Team Member

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 22nd, 2014

To increase patient satisfaction, some hospitals are adding a surgical nurse liaison to their perioperative teams. They have found that this can increase not only patient and family satisfaction, but staff satisfaction as well, which results in increased nurse retention (according to a report published in AORN Journal).

Nurse and PatientSome added a surgical nurse liaison after noticing patient survey scores were falling in the areas of communication and calming fears. The new team member is responsible for managing the waiting area, facilitating interaction between physicians and patients’ families and helping with family visits to the perianesthesia unit.

After adding a surgical nurse liaison, the hospital’s patient satisfaction surveys showed increases and hospital staff members reported being happy with the new position.

To learn more ways to increase patient satisfaction, nurse satisfaction and nurse retention visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today if you would like to explore implementing this program at your facility.

Patient Safety, Nurse Safety and Alarm Fatigue

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 17th, 2014

Nineteen out of 20 hospitals surveyed rank alarm fatigue as a top patient safety concern, according to the results of a national survey presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Technology in Anesthesia.

nurse call button - alarm fatigueAlarm fatigue occurs when clinicians become desensitized to the constant noise of alarms or are overwhelmed by the sounds and turn the alarms down or off. The problem has become so widespread that The Joint Commission named it a National Patient Safety Goal now requires accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals to improve their systems.

The findings show hospital staff are exposed to an average of 350 alarms per bed, per day based on a sample from an intensive care unit at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “That translates into thousands of alarms per unit and tens of thousands of alarms per hospital each and every day,” Wong said.

“Hospitals are greatly concerned about alarm fatigue because it interferes with patient safety, and it exposes patients, and the hospitals themselves, to grave harm,” said Michael Wong, executive director of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, who presented the findings at the annual meeting.

To learn how to reduce fatigue of nurses and increase resilience visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss ways we can customize this powerful program for your staff.

Do Employee Wellness Programs Reduce Healthcare Costs?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 15th, 2014

Do employee wellness programs reduce health care costs for their institutions? Most studies say they do.

Nebraska Medical Center’s data shows that each medical plan participant who also participated in the wellness program created a savings of $600 to $900 per year. The American Hospital Association notes that 82% of hospitals say savings equaled or exceeded their expectations.

reduce healthcare costsBetter than saving money are the employees comments such as, “I had no idea I was borderline diabetic” or “I didn’t know my blood pressure was high.” Caring for the caregiver makes them better caregivers to patients.

Health Affairs study found that well-designed workplace wellness programs averaged a 3:1 return on investment. The study noted that medical costs tend to fall by $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, and absenteeism costs tended to fall by $2.72 for every dollar spent.

To increase nurse retention and nurse satisfaction, learn about SelfCare for HealthCare™ – my initiative that improves the fiscal and physical health of your organization. Contact me today to discuss customizing this life-changing program for your staff.

Operation Babylift: An Emotional Tour of the USS Midway

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 10th, 2014

Nurse Retention: Reduce Nurse Sick Days and Increase Patient Satisfaction

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 8th, 2014

Research finds that hospitals that manage employee wellness poorly score worse on a range of performance measures than units with more effective wellness management. In one study of 2,000 units in a U.S. health care organization, those with particularly unfavorable employee opinions of leaders’ efforts to address health had worse performance outcomes than units with more favorable employee vinurse work life balanceews.

Specifically, units with the poorest scores had 1.8 times higher accident rates and 1.3 times more staff days absent. They showed 5.9 times higher bloodstream infection rates and 5% lower scores on patient satisfaction. (Towers Watson’s 2012 Global Workforce Study)

To learn how to improve your employee health, nurse retention, and patient satisfaction, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™ and contact me to set up a complimentary consult with your healthcare leaders.

Life Balance: What Fuel Are You Putting in Your Tank?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 3rd, 2014

Nurse Retention and Nurse Recruitment: Attract and Keep Nurses with Health and Wellness Programs

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 1st, 2014

Only 46% of U.S. hospital workers say their organizations promote healthy work environments (compared with 69% of U.S. workers overall) – figures that significantly affect nurse recruitment and nurse retention efforts. Barely one-third (35%) of U.S. hospital workers say that current wellness programs actually encouraged a healthier lifestyle, compared with nearly half (48%) of all U.S. workers. Only 40% of U.S. hospital workers agree that their organizations reward employees for living a healthy lifestyle, compared with 55% of U.S. workers overall.

nurse wellness Hospitals that miss the mark on health and wellness face potentially serious consequences. One is a less effective recruiting of new employees. The Global Workforce Study asked respondents to rate the top five attributes of the workplace that would attract them to a job. U.S. hospital workers put health care/wellness benefits in third place. By comparison, the rest of U.S. workers ranked health care and wellness seventh in importance.

To learn how to nurture the health of your hospital employees and create positive nurse recruitment and nurse retention programs visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to create a plan to customize this program for your facility.