Hospital Conducts In-House Employee Safety And Health Promotion Campaign
As part of
their effort to practice the wellness concept they convey to their
patients, 500 employees at Miami-based Mercy Hospital attended a
three-day, in-house health promotion campaign last month that was
conceived and conducted by facility staff members.
which was initiated last year and will become an annual program, was
part of the hospital’s commitment to patient and employee health
and wellness, according to Lisa Miranda-Sixto, integrated disability
management program manager and campaign coordinator. Since there was no
funding allocation for the campaign, the program committee relied
strictly on in-house resources and donations, Miranda-Sixto told Wellness Program Management Advisor.
who is chairperson of the hospital’s employee safety
subcommittee, which also helped coordinate the event, said the campaign
is part of an effort to create a permanent employee health promotion
program at the hospital.
program, which covered disease prevention, nutrition, stress
management, physical fitness and general safety, actually had its
genesis in previous in-house health promotion attempts that did not pan
out, Miranda-Sixto said.
administration was always behind a health promotion program effort, but
prior wellness projects designed for hospital employees had not
worked," she said. "The administration said they would endorse another
effort if we could come up with a new approach."
the new approach, Miranda-Sixto created a health promotion interest
survey in April and circulated it among the hospital’s two
thousand employees; the result was a 29 percent response to the
questionnaire, which asked employees about their health habits and
interests, she said. Interest in stress management, nutrition and
general fitness topped the list, she added.
was a one-page screening tool. We used the employees’ top choices
and responses to form the basis of the three-day program,"
Miranda-Sixto explained. "Now we have something we can use to build an
ongoing health promotion program."
committee took full advantage of its in-house resources, Miranda-Sixto
said. Health promotion programs were conducted by staff volunteers
from, among other divisions, the hospital’s cardiovascular lab,
mental health department, pharmacy, nutrition center, diabetes
treatment center, quality management department, nursing units, case
management sector, rehabilitation department, worker’s
compensation office, pastoral care and environmental services units,
the committee received donations from outside sources, such as the
American Cancer Society and numerous vendors, and also was able to use
hospital staff and equipment for the various health screenings that
were conducted during the three-day program, Miranda-Sixto said. All
printed material was donated or developed and produced in-house, she
"We made full
use of our internal and external resources," she said. "Having access
to hospital facilities, personnel and equipment didn’t hurt
either, especially since we had virtually no budget for this project."
preliminary feedback from the program has been overwhelmingly positive,
Miranda-Sixto said; volunteers and participants gave the campaign high
marks for addressing their needs in a productive way while enhancing
their work performance, she added.
more definitive method of analyzing the results is necessary to justify
continuing the project and establishing a permanent health promotion
program, she noted. As a result, an employee evaluation post-campaign
survey is in the planning stage; upon completion, the survey will be
e-mailed to employees and placed in accessible locations, such as the
cafeteria, Miranda-Sixto said.
will provide actual figures and return on investment (ROI) information
that we can use to help us develop a business plan for submission to
the hospital administration," she said. "We can document the outcomes
of the three-day effort in a precise manner to justify the need for a
full-time health promotion program. And to help us get a budget."
committee’s educational approach to the project may have been one
reason for the campaign’s apparent success, Miranda-Sixto noted.
Before constructing the program, the planning committee made sure it
knew what the hospital employees needed and wanted in terms of health
promotion; equally important was maintaining an awareness of what the
hospital could realistically provide, she said.
important to design the campaign around the needs and interests of the
employees, but we also had to be realistic," she explained. "In the
past, many employees expressed a desire for an on-site fitness center.
But, for the moment, there is no funding for that kind of thing.
However, there were many fitness-related programs we could provide
without that kind of capital."
Miranda-Sixto said the planners took an educational approach to the campaign from the very beginning.
training for everyone involved, from the program planners to the
employee participants, was very critical to the program’s
success," she said. "We moved slowly, but with purpose. We made sure
our ideas and plans were well thought-out before implementation. And
that formula seems to have worked."
Address: Lisa Miranda-Sixto, Mercy Hospital, 3663 South Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33133; (305) 285-2623, www.mercymiami.com.
Copyright 2002 Health Resources Publishing