Studies Report Significant Impact of Health Promotion Programs
A series of
special reports from Mayo Clinic says when employees and their families
are given tools such as self-care information, newsletters, online
services and telephone access to healthcare professionals, they are
better able to make informed health management choices that result in
significant cost savings.
As a result,
the increased confidence in their ability to make healthcare decisions
has enabled employees to reduce absenteeism, reduced the cost of visits
to emergency rooms and doctors’ offices and lowered the cost of
long-term care, even when chronic conditions figure into the equation,
according to the clinic reports.
corporate health promotion efforts emphasize the importance of giving
employees informational tools and empowering them to make smart
decisions about their health, the study said self-care is one of the
most significant elements of a workplace wellness program; the clinic
reported that positive direct benefits can even emerge within the first
six to 18 months of program implementation.
Benefits of Self-Care
reported that self-care programs teach employees how to manage health
symptoms and provide direction on what to do about them. This knowledge
can suggest a more appropriate level of care and reduce unnecessary
visits to medical facilities, according to the study.
by looking up symptoms and using home health techniques, such as
placing ice packs on a sprained ankle, a visit to the doctor may not be
necessary, the study found.
self-care books, newsletters, nurse counseling via telephone, and
online tools also help employees recognize serious health symptoms,
such as dizziness that might signal a stroke or chest pain that could
indicate a heart attack, and advise them to seek immediate medical
care, according to the reports.
said self-care also is an effective means of disease management.
Educational programs may help a group of people with particular health
concerns, such as diabetes or asthma, feel more comfortable about their
conditions and learn behaviors than can prevent an escalation of the
problems, the study found.
employees about self-care also encourages them to take a more active
role in their health management and allows them to make confident,
informed choices about their health, the study noted.
include all the things employees do to maintain their health, such as
eating well, exercising, not smoking, using alcohol in moderation,
managing stress, performing safety checks at home and at work and
maintaining a healthy body weight, according to the reports.
However, Mayo Clinic says self-care also includes things employees should do when illness occurs, including:
Knowing when to treat common illnesses or minor
injuries at home, when to get medical attention and how to communicate
effectively with doctors and other caregivers.
Being prepared to respond effectively in an emergency and learning about general symptoms, such as fever or pain.
Knowing how to achieve a higher quality of life even in cases of serious illness or chronic medical conditions.
Seeing themselves as the most important members of their healthcare teams.
Address: Mayo Clinic, 200 SW First St., Rochester, MN 55905; (507) 284-2511, www.mayo.edu.
Copyright 2002 Health Resources Publishing