Health, Wellness and Safety

In this section:

Health and Wellness

Our ability to deliver high-quality, reliable care depends on our employees feeling supported, cared for and at their best. Our award-winning Be Healthy wellness program provides tools and resources to help employees sustain the energy and focus to care for their loved ones. Through it, they can earn rewards for improving their well-being. From health education to mental health de-stigmatization to weight management and smoking cessation programs, we deploy many health and wellness interventions where they are needed most.

2021 Highlights
  • Texas Health's Employee Health departments provided over half a million services to employees, including giving COVID-19 vaccines, evaluating symptoms and administering tests so they could continue to care for our communities and protect each other from exposure.
  • Launched a campaign to destigmatize mental and emotional health, which increased annual employee assistance program utilization to 8.7% while keeping healthcare costs well below the national average. We also increased the number of free, confidential counseling visits from six to eight.
  • Connected 1,659 employees to compassionate mental health providers through our Self-Care Check-In program. Employees talk through how they're feeling, their challenges and the physical, emotional or behavioral reactions they're experiencing while clinicians provide tips on coping skills and how to build resiliency.
  • Provided a free virtual personal assistant to assist employees with managing day-to-day activities and tasks.
  • Recognized for our commitment to employee health and well-being:
    • Received Platinum-level recognition as a Best Employer: Excellence in Health & Well-Being from the National Business Group on Health.
    • Earned Gold-level status on the American Heart Association's Workplace Health Achievement™ Index.
    • Received the Medicus Integra© Award for Texas Health Physicians Group's support of physicians and advanced practice providers in achieving work-life balance.
Blue Zone Approved Worksite

As a Blue Zone Approved Worksite™, we integrate purpose, movement, nutrition and other healthy behaviors to make it easier for employees to make good choices. These range from providing healthier food options in our cafeterias to installing walking trails and meditation gardens at our healthcare campuses.

2021 Highlights
  • Introduced a psychological first aid training that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues so they can help others in need of support.
  • Continued offering healthy food choices in our cafes and refreshed signage to encourage employees to park further out and take extra steps to support their physical health.
Spirituality

Texas Health is grounded in the belief that integrating faith, spirituality and medicine can enhance treatment and healing. We welcome a diversity of religious faiths and ways that employees nurture their spirits. Our board-certified chaplains provide employees with support, comfort and guidance.

Each entity also has a chapel that provides a quiet place to pray, worship, meditate and simply breathe. Other sites have meditation gardens for reflection.

Snapshot: View from the Front Lines

As COVID-19 surges strained our hospitals and exhausted caregivers, they failed to break our spirit and only strengthened our resolve. As influxes impacted one hospital, nurses and respiratory therapists arrived from other facilities to help their colleagues care for patients.

"Hands down, it's teamwork," said Jamie Schweitzer, B.S.N., R.N., CEN, a nursing supervisor at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. "Our doors never close; we can't turn it off. Everybody helps. That's just our culture. We know when to step up, to say, 'I see you're overwhelmed; what can I do?'

Praise from patients and families, and community appreciation, also have lifted caregivers' spirits.

Mario Cortez spent 10 days at Texas Health Plano and credits his successful recovery to more than just medication and oxygen treatments.

"Every day, all the nurses would lift my spirits," Mario said. "God only knows what was going on in their lives while they were helping heal me."

Mario's daughter, Susie Cortez, showed his family's appreciation with a painting of his care team.

"Before putting brush to canvas, I thought of the Justice League, where you see Superman and Wonder Woman and all the superheroes standing in solidarity," she said. "That's what I visualized for this painting, but the superheroes captured in this piece are the nurses and doctors that helped my dad recover from COVID-19."

Safety

Our health and safety management system allows us to identify and control hazards and risks, comply with applicable laws and regulations, investigate incidents and track actions through closure. It also contains programs, non-retaliation policies and tools to protect employees and consumers from harm.

We deploy many strategies to reduce workplace hazards, from infection control processes to safely lifting patients to providing well-lit rooms and hallways. We also:

  • Deliver extensive training and communication that covers how to spot, resolve and report potential hazards.
  • Provide controls to reduce exposure to bloodborne and airborne pathogens, such as needleless IV systems, safety-engineered sharps and personal protective equipment.
  • Appoint environment of care committees and threat management teams to monitor safety risks and develop action plans to address them.
  • Conduct risk assessments with our workers' compensation insurance provider to evaluate everything from ergonomics to industrial hygiene practices.
  • Require the reporting of safety concerns, errors, injuries and near misses to an online tracking system. We analyze this data to spot injury frequency, cost and severity trends.
  • Perform root cause analyses of safety events to inform systemwide decision-making and necessary corrective actions.
2021 Highlights
  • Maintained adequate levels of personal protective equipment to control the spread of COVID-19.
  • Completed systemwide risk assessments, provided training and developed a comprehensive plan to comply with a new Healthcare COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Improved safety performance despite workforce shortages, severe weather and surges in COVID-19 patients. Overall, Texas Health reduced our year-over-year Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incident rate by 16% and lost-time injury rate by 35%. We also reduced work-related COVID-19 exposures by 76% and injuries caused by lifting objects by 10%.

Please see our 2021 Social Purpose Summary Report for additional safety data.

Workplace Violence Prevention

Violence in healthcare settings across the nation continues to escalate due to pressures and social issues exacerbated by the pandemic and other factors. We continually develop and refine safety programs to minimize employees' exposure to risks and threats.

In the last few years, our facilities have experienced an increase in aggressive and combative patients and family members. Through our Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Program, we:

  • Provide training, tools and resources to help employees decrease violent events and respond to hostile patients and visitors. Caregivers also can notify others of threats with internal alerts.
  • Conduct active shooter tabletop exercises to help leaders think through and effectively respond to potential incidents.
  • Hold drills with other community response agencies to build a shared understanding of our response capabilities and practices.
2021 Highlights
  • Experienced a 25% increase in violent events. We produced a video for patients admitted to our hospitals to reinforce our expectations for responsible conduct. Staff at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital also piloted using personal alarms that could be activated to summon help.


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