Monthly Archives: November 2016

Healthy Sleep: Productivity & Workplace Safety

Healthy Sleep to Increase Productivity, Employee Engagement** and Workplace Safety

Healthy Sleep is by far the most neglected aspect of our health. Health is the most undeniable aspect of employee performance.

Healthy Sleep with health Technology Best In Corporate Health
Now Health Technology to measure, monitor & to improve sleep for increased productivity, workplace safety and public safety

 

45% of Americans and Canadians report sleep problems. If we are not practicing good sleep hygiene we are jeopardizing our health and workplace productivity. From a corporate perspective, sleep deprivation in our workforce is a dangerous liability to workplace safety,  is guaranteed to increase healthcare costs, and will negate all other employee engagement and performance efforts.

 

💤April 2017 Benefits Canada’s Calgary Benefits Summit:💤

As plan sponsors, we should be very concerned, sleep has direct consequences for the workplace, particularly in terms of safety, productivity and group benefits costs. Sleep is not a luxury. It’s a necessity, as vital as eating, drinking and exercise, sleep disorders exert a negative impact on people’s health and, if untreated, can lead to chronic illnesses such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression and obesity……It’s in our best interests to take a structured approach, including both prevention and intervention measures, to help employees sleep better………It’s clear that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is the best way to treat the condition in adults….This is a huge paradigm shift, doctors now recommend that patients enrol in a behavioural change program for sleep before taking medications.

 

Sleep disorders - the cost
Financial cost of 3 most common sleep disorders….cost on health?

Sleep deprivation ➠ chronic illness

Why is healthy sleep a necessity to health and human performance?

Sleep deprivation  leads to higher risk of chronic health problems including:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • Alzheimers
  • obesity
  • diabesity
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • accidental death
  • memory Issues
  • immune suppression
  • depression
  • moodiness
  • metabolic syndrome
  • hormonal dysfunction
  • greater vulnerability to colds and flu
  • premature aging
  • alcohol use

According to Harvard Medical School, for people with hypertension, one night without enough sleep can cause elevated blood pressure all through the next day.

According to a British study, those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night doubled their risk of death from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

Sleep is regulated by two body systems:

  • sleep/wake homeostasis
  • Our biological circadian clock

Sleep/wake Homeostasis: Alerts us that a need for sleep is accumulating and that it is time to sleep. It also helps us maintain enough sleep throughout the night to make up for the hours of being awake. With every waking hour there is a strengthening of the homeostatic sleep drive. Researchers believe this is a product of the demands of brain activity during wakefulness.

Circadian biological clocks: regulate the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day. The circadian rhythm dips and rises at different times of the day.  For most, the strongest sleep drive occurs between 2:00-4:00 am and in the afternoon between 1:00-3:00 pm, although there is variation depending on if a person is more of a “morning person” or “evening person.” We experience sleepiness during these circadian dips, but with  sufficient sleep, the degree of sleepiness will be less intense.

Most people are unaware that their sleep is not a health sleep. Companies must take preventive measures to address the sleep health of their employees to increase productivity and engagement,  reduce healthcare costs, and assure workplace safety. We need to proactively measure the quality sleep of our employees, and provide monitoring and feedback for those employees with sleep dysfunction.  Healthy sleep is an investment in employee health and productivity as well as the company’s bottom line.

Assuring employees attain a healthy sleep is also a vital aspect of corporate responsibility. For many companies – such as construction, trucking, health care providers…

being proactive about sleep hygiene is a matter of public safety.

Employee Risk Assessment Best In Corporate Health
Our Data for your Process:
Employee Health Risk Assessment
Process Design based on Assessment
Chronic Disease Management

At Best in Corporate Health, we have a dedication to providing implementation & measurements for success for all of our corporate health programs. We have proudly introduced into our health risk assessments and coaching programs complete sleep analyses. We have teamed up with the leader in providing employees a health sleep. They have changed the way sleep healthcare is delivered utilizing multifaceted  solutions.

The process  has complete accessibility – providing employees the required flexibility

 

Employers report:

  • 23% savings in overall healthcare spend
  • 25% increase in workforce productivity
  • 70% reduction in preventable accidents
  • 40% reduction in defects.

Contact us  to get your workforce on to healthy sleep.

** Employee Engagement vs. Talent Engagement:

With the advent of a new economy and workforce composition, we now have a  talent market. Companies are surrounded by a cloud of talent, coming from multiple sources: Temp workers, freelancers, contract workers, suppliers, … All of these talent resources need to be engaged  to help organizations to reach their objectives.

Shira@BestInCorporateHealth.com

Your Corporate Health Risk Assessments provide the template for your wellness processes.

We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach, Health and fitness educator

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

 

Population Health Management with Technology

Population Health Management – Effectively Using Healthcare IT

I have read more garbled definitions for population health  management- so let’s try and simplify, and then apply to our own company’s scenarios.

Electronic patient records, electronic health records (EHR)  were huge when they started – that really started the cascade of what we now refer to as population health management. The options keep growing exponentially.

population health management Best In Corporate HealthMost typical definition: Population Health Management is the aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology resources, the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record, and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes. In other words, we want to maximize the health of the employee by collecting and analyzing data by different providers in the most cost effective way possible. This by definition will improve the ROI.

Now – let’s break it down and understand what we as corporations can prosper from here.

Keeping our employees happy and healthy is the soundest asset investment we can support. 

We should be expanding population health management to far more than chronic disease management, we equally must encourage proactive health care. The potential ability of a provider to effectively manage the healthcare needs of a defined group across a range of healthcare services either through direct provision of care or through structured relationships with other providers will benefit both the employee and the company. Providers have strived for decades to turn our system from a “sick care” model to a truly “health care” model. An effective population health management system can transform healthcare from reactive and transactional to proactive and ongoing.

However, we must be able to provide the strictest of confidentiality to the employee, otherwise, the population health management model will fail. The threat of a data breach will undermine all of our best efforts of implementation. Mobile health (cell phone apps, fitbits….), telemedicine ( insulin pumps & other monitors that health care technicians can review remotely) and other health IT incentive programs – these technologies must be carefully used and monitored assuring cybersecurity. With all that said – as a corporate health provider for many years, I very strongly believe on these health IT incentives and monitors – they strongly enable participant adherence and success.

Its easy to get wrapped up and let in the maze of gadgets and health IT. Remember quality of care, in terms of proactive support and chronic disease management is the outcome that matters, in terms of health and ROI.

Employee Risk Assessment Best In Corporate Health
Not just lifestyle….Employee Risk assessments, Programs directed to illness prevention based on those risks, chronic disease management

We still need providers to interpret data, make health assessments and recommendations. This might be very obvious for chronic disease management, but is frequently overlooked and minimized on the proactive health care side of health management. A good wellness provider can identify  risks that needs to be pursued by a physician, catching potentially life threatening illnesses at a much earlier stage.  Health Risk Assessment.

Wellness Programs that  Save Companies Money….Actually..

Harvard Business Review:  Employee wellness programs were examined to see if they really cut employer costs. They concluded yes – however, the answer is not simple lifestyle programs; it’s programs that prevent at-risk employees from becoming ill and help chronically ill employees stabilize their conditions.

According to the CDC, currently the vast majority of people are at risk for disease.  “At risk” conditions are also reducing workplace productivity and engagement**. 

population health management saving corporate dollars Best In Corporate HealthA recent Rand study, “Do Workplace Wellness Programs Save Employers Money?”Examined 10 years of data from a Fortune 100 employer’s wellness program. When compared against the lifestyle-management component, disease management delivered 86% of the hard healthcare cost savings, generating $136 in savings per member, per month and a 30% reduction in hospital admissions.

Population health management with healthcare IT provide health specialists valuable tools for assessment, determination of health risks which saves lives and costs to all. Properly constructed, it can provide the employee the confidentiality they seek, and employers the tools to provide true healthcare to support their most valuable asset – their people.

** Employee Engagement vs. Talent Engagement:

With the advent of a new economy and workforce composition, we now have a  talent market. Companies are surrounded by a cloud of talent, coming from multiple sources: Temp workers, freelancers, contract workers, suppliers, … All of these talent resources need to be engaged  to help organizations to reach their objectives.

Shira@BestInCorporateHealth.com

We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach, Health and fitness educator

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

Employee Assistance Programs and Wellness

Employee Assistance Programs AND and Effective Wellness Process

Often there is confusion between an Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and an effective,  customized to each individual employee,  wellness program. This comparison is not suitable for generic, wellness programs presented to the masses.

Employee Risk Assessment Best In Corporate Health
Our data for your process: Employee Risk Assessment Analysis, Address those Risks, Chronic Disease Management

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are work-based intervention programs, often part of an employee benefits package,  designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems ( marital, financial, emotional or family issues; substance or alcohol abuse) that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. I would like to add to that broad definition  – the management of the company actually cares for the health and wellness, happiness of the employees.

The studies I have reviewed in both Canada and the United States say only 3-5% of employees use their EAPs, and the reasons are thought to be:

  • They fear confidentiality
  • Unfortunately, there is a stigma over reaching out for help
  • Misinformation: employees mistakenly  think permission from their boss or HR is necessary;
  • They don’t know it exists…..or think it only covers issues such as substance abuse

The original intent of an EAP was to provide assessment and services for addressing a variety of personal problems and concerns that interfere with employees’ well-being and work performance. Interventions for issues such as depression and substance abuse were delivered in person, by telephone or over the Internet by licensed counsellors, typically offering employees up to six of  sessions.

A different model is often used in today’s EAPs. Now there is an assess-and-refer model: Employees contact the EAP, but instead of receiving traditional  counselling, they are referred to a provider outside of the EAP, triggering a claim on the employer health care plan (this is still a variable between plans and countries).

With the rising cost of health care to both employers and employees, changes in private insurance and public health care plans, the last thing either party wants is to trigger more claims.

The goal of effective, employee wellness processes, that fit each employee, is prevention, being proactive, and yes, dealing with a number of health challenges.

Very often in challenging situations there can be an underlying health disturbance, an imbalance, which could be contributing to the employees issues. Health specialists are trained in identifying unique scenarios, and addressing with appropriate lifestyle modifications.

Example: Stress

stress management employee health programs Best In Corporate HealthWe all know stress is a serious challenge in the workplace. And many of the people seeking help from Employee Assistance Programs are under a great deal of stress, that can be one of the triggers to the personal problem. By not just stress management techniques, but to get down to the  sources of cellular stress – from where stress spreads its wrath – is a huge and overlooked part of managing stress. We don’t want to provide temporary coping mechanisms, we want to provide physiological relief, so issues can be managed more successfully – to be blunt – to allow the treatment to work.

Due to a complex, plethora of reasons, both employer and employees lives are becoming more complicated.

More than 90 percent of business leaders say that promoting wellness can positively influence employee productivity and performance (survey  from the nonprofit Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO).)

The February 2015 survey report, Exploring the value Proposition for Workforce Health, evaluates how employers see a healthy workforce influencing morale, employee  engagement and overall corporate performance. The findings are based on a survey completed between May and July 2014 by more than 500 business leaders from across the U.S., from a variety of industries and company sizes.

Employee Assistance Programs Best In Corporate Health57% of business leaders said their organizations viewed health as an “investment in human capital “ and as “part of the organization’s core business strategy”. Less than a third saw investments in health primarily as a health care cost-containment strategy (30 percent), and fewer still as an expense (13 percent). The HERO study concluded: “This finding is important because it recognizes growing support for a broader value proposition for investment in workforce health and wellbeing.”

A carefully crafted wellness program designed around the employees particular needs can address the drawbacks of an EAP. And of course,  we can identify a need for an employee to turn to the Employee Assistance Programs, assuring safety and confidentiality.

Shira@BestInCorporateHealth.com

We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach, Health and fitness educator

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

Lunch N Learn – Improve the Wellness Quick Fix

Lunch N Learn – How Can we Improve on this Wellness Quick Fix?
Lunch N Learn Made Better Best In Corporate Health
Until November 25, Our Interactive webinars + Coaching….First 15 Only….

That wellness Lunch N Learn – have someone come in, splat out some information and leave. Unfortunately the wellness Lunch N Learn paradigm is still frequently the “GOTo” for many organizations, and it has also given wellness programs a bad rap.

 

 

 

When we talk about ROI – the “I” is for Investment…correct? Investment is not just about dollars, its about thought and focusing on a positive outcome for the employees – which which in turn will make a positive impact on the company.

7 Flaws in the Lunch N Learn Program:
  1. Heads are often not there – Understandably employees are thinking about: food, gotta get more food, free food at the Lunch N Learn,  I gotta catch that phone call, what I have to do after lunch…..Oh no another one of these…..
  2. Privacy – We all cherish privacy – in a room with colleagues is not conducive for feeling safe to really focus and ask questions.
  3. Usually a list of Shoulds and Should Nots, Do this, Don’t DO That – Nobody is interested
  4. There is no follow through – helping the employee implement the newly learned ideas, without be over whelmed therefore dismissing them
  5. They are expensive. Because of their many flaws, success is short lived, if lived at all, showing a very poor ROI
  6. Does it show thought, respect, diligence for health?
  7. Short term to long term memory. Learning is a PROCESS. ……so our wellness programs need to be a process as well. The 4 stages of Learning are:
Attention            Encoding                        Storage                          Retrieval

Our wellness processes need to address all 4 stages of learning.

lunch n learn Best In Corporate Health
Best In Corporate Health – The Evolution of the Lunch N Learn

To quote the late, great David Bowie…..Wham – Bam – Thank You Ma’am…….not quite the attitude to entrust our employee health and corporate wealth upon.

Our Best In Corporate Health live and interactive webinars provide all the conveniences of the traditional Lunch N Learn, but address these flaws, and are far more affordable. Learn how evolution is good – leading to greater health, employee engagement, employee productivity and focus…all imperative for the corporate bottom line. Measure your ROI.

 

 

Shira@BestInCorporateHealth.com

We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach, Health and fitness educator

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

BSc Psychology & Chemistry| Medical Exercise Specialist|Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery|Total of 18 exercise designations