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AHA: Make Wellness Part of Healthcare Workforce Culture

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 27, 2011

Both Bluford and the report say there are significant obstacles to getting hospital and healthcare system employees to accept healthy behaviors as part of the culture, even as part of a job description. But the biggest one is the failure to appreciate a return on investment and lack of funds to get such programs off the ground.

A few hospitals now make non-smoking a condition for a new hire, but it's a tougher sell – and may face legal challenges – to get hospitals to prohibit employment of people who don't exercise.

Some systems are experimenting with best practices. At Truman, for example, employees can trade up to $1,800 in paid time off hours (including sick time) for reimbursements in wellness-related expenses, such as gym membership fees, and even golf club or bicycle purchases, Bluford says.

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