Developing workplace wellness advantageous

Filed under: Health Care |

Business owners, CEOs, managers, human resource professionals, wellness coordinators, risk managers and anyone interested in promoting a healthy work force are invited to attend a workshop about incorporating and maintaining comprehensive wellness programs in the workplace.

A national health promotion management company, Health Break, will present information about the components of a wellness program, cost containment strategies, expectations for a return on investment and examples of best practices.

Attendees also will receive a work site resource kit from Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition. Other sponsors include the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the YMCA.

The program is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Southeast Family YMCA. The registration fee is $60, and includes breakfast and lunch. The deadline to register is Jan. 25.

For more information, call Marilyn Bosenbecker of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment at 578-3253.

Colorado HMOs continue to generate profit

Based on third-quarter reports, PacifiCare, HMO Colorado and Kaiser Permanente are the top-three revenue generators, respectively, among health maintenance organizations in the state, according to the Colorado Managed Care newsletter.

PacifiCare led the pack with more than $42 million in before-tax net income, more than double the before-tax net income of HMO Colorado and Kaiser.

Although HMO membership dropped 7.8 percent from the prior year, total HMO revenue, after three quarters, totaled $2.6 billion, a bit higher than last year’s revenue for the same period.

Hospitals unveil new oncology units

Memorial Hospital rang in the new year with an open house promoting its remodeled 12-bed adult oncology unit. Teresa Heckel, associate administrator of Memorial’s Oncology Services Dept., said the purpose of the redesign was to “create a more comfortable healing environment.”

She said focusing on senses like touch and sight results in “better outcomes” for patients.

To achieve a soothing environment, Heckel said a nature theme was introduced through artwork, murals painted by Colorado Springs resident and nationally known artist Mickey Baxter; earth-tone colors, such as sage, butter and rust; and a veranda covered by a pergola, where a garden of plants and water features invite patients and their families to soak in the afternoon sun.

The nurses’ station overlooks the veranda, and a large family room connects to the veranda. Carpeted hallways decrease noise.

The cornerstone of the unit is a sculpture-like artwork called “Believe,” which was inspired by a local cancer patient, Heckel said. “Believe” incorporates the handprints and inspirational messages of several spiritual leaders.

The remodel cost Memorial $1.6 million, she said. The average length of stay for an oncology patient is five days.

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services hosted an open house Jan. 5 to celebrate its new oncology unit. The hospital remodeled the 11th floor to accommodate the unit, which moved from the 10th floor.

The unit features 24 private rooms and panoramic views of the mountains. The design, which includes a large nurses’ station, a meditation room and an aquarium, is contemporary with colors of “soothing sage greens and warm rust tones,” said Tanya Dantzler, a Penrose spokeswoman.

“We are pleased to be able to offer our patients this beautiful floor, said Kathy Guy, clinical manager of the oncology unit. “The soothing environment promotes a positive experience.”

Memorial Hospital receives human factors training grant

Memorial’s surgical team has received a $50,000 grant for human factors training.

The $250,000 grant is one of five being given nationwide by Kimberly-Clark Health Care and the Association of Operating Room Nurses Foundation for training to mitigate operating room errors. The human factors training concept was introduced in the aviation industry, where miscommunications and human error can lead to deadly disasters, according to a Memorial news release. The concept applies in health care as well.

“The training is tailored for health care professionals who work closely together in high-risk, high-stress environments, where adverse outcomes can significantly contribute to morbidity and mortality,” according to the release.

“Participants in the human factors training learn the importance of a ‘flattening hierarchy’ among surgical teams, meaning that any team participant at any time may voice their concerns in the operating room regardless of rank or seniority,” said Jill Garrett, Memorial’s perioperative care manager. “Learning team members’ names and speaking a common language are also important communication components in the OR.”

Other hospitals receiving grant money include Jackson Memorial Health Systems in Miami, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and the Tawas St. Josephs Hospital in Tawas City, Mich.

Marylou Doehrman covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.