E-Health management case study available

News Briefs

Mayo Clinic Health Management Resources (MCHMR), of Rochester, MN, is making available a new case study that details the experiences and approaches of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., in implementing a multifaceted health management program for its employees and their families, free of charge. At the core of the program is an online health information resource. Mayo says a review of the program will prove helpful to organizations interested in developing successful e-health management programs for their employees. Roche’s commitment to employee health is based on the belief that helping employees improve their health is in the best interests of the company; it results in a work force that is more productive, has fewer distractions and will be absent less frequently.

The case study explains an in-house program called "Choosing Health," which includes a number of employee health components such as a fitness center, a nurse line, a disease management program and an e-health web site. It also discusses the program’s key strategies and principles.

The final portion of the report explains incentive programs and results, as the company built the use of two tools offered in the Choosing Health program, the web site and the nurse line. For example, the nurse line experienced a 120% increase in calls over six months on the topic of back care, one of the priority conditions the company chose to address. In addition, the study found a 284% increase in on line site visits as a result of an incentive program to regularly use the health information web site provided by MCHMR.

Organizations interested in obtaining a complimentary copy of the case study can visit the Mayo web site: (www.MayoClinicHMR.org).

Web site set up for uninsured

In the wake of the recent loss of thousands of jobs across the nation, Georgetown University has created a web site to help workers understand their legal protections regarding health insurance coverage following job loss. The site, which was made possible through a grant from the Princeton, NJ-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was developed by the Georgetown University Institute on Health Care Research and offers state-specific information on insurance regulations.

Called "A Consumer Guide for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance," the content includes separate guides for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, which will be updated periodically as changes in federal and state policy warrant. The site also includes a glossary of insurance terms and complete information about consumer protections and eligibility.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 38.7 million Americans are currently without health insurance. Visit the site at: www.healthinsuranceinfo.net.

Nursing home, OSHA settle

Beverly Enterprises, one of the nation’s largest nursing home operators, will adopt specific measures to reduce back injuries for employees involved in lifting nursing home residents, according to OSHA. As part of a settlement agreement, the Fort Smith, AK-based company also said it will establish a training program and purchase mechanical lift equipment. The settlement applies to all Beverly Enterprises facilities within federal OSHA jurisdiction.

The agreement settles citations issued by OSHA to five Pennsylvania nursing homes. The agency found that the company’s injury and illness records revealed numerous musculoskeletal injuries sustained by nursing assistants that resulted in extensive lost work time and restricted work duty.

OSHA launches e-news memo

The Washington, DC-based Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched the premier issue of its new electronic communication tool, which will be e-mailed to subscribers on a regular basis. Called QuickTakes, it contains a snapshot of OSHA’s activities that support safety and health in the workplace, including news and announcements, background information, and other information of interest. Within the summaries, OSHA will often include links to the agency’s web site, as well as other sites related to safety and health that provide specific additional information.

"QuickTakes will deliver short and concise information on the agency’s activities," notes OSHA administrator John Henshaw. The e-mail, which will come directly to the subscriber’s electronic mailbox, will cover just the highlights of important OSHA issues. Readers can then get additional information on a subject they would like.

If you are interested in subscribing, just visit OSHA’s homepage (www.osha.gov), click on the QuickTakes icon and follow the subscription instructions. If you would prefer not to receive the electronic memo automatically, you can simply view it on OSHA’s web site.