Nurses are taking a leading role in new worksite-based care delivery and preventive health approaches that could improve quality of care and drive down costs, according to a new policy brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“The Value of Nursing in Building a Culture of Health (Part 2): Helping Employers Create Safe and Productive Workplaces” is the latest in RWJF’s Charting Nursing’s Future series of policy briefs. It describes a number of nurse-designed initiatives underway at workplaces across the nation, according to a news release.
“From an employer’s perspective, it’s just good business to keep workers healthy and on the job,” Maryjoan Ladden, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF senior program officer and executive editor of Charting Nursing’s Future, said in the release. “Nurses bring a professional perspective and clinical expertise that makes them the perfect partners for such initiatives, and employers and employees are turning to them with increasing frequency. It’s appropriate to note the work nurses are doing to build a Culture of Health in the workplace.”
Research and education
The brief also spotlights nurse leaders conducting research and education on work-related health problems, including Claire Caruso, PhD, RN, FAAN, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health researcher who has spent two decades researching the health effects of night-shift work; Carolyn Sheridan, RN, clinical director and founder of the AgriSafe Network, who has worked to provide care to farmers and training to other clinicians focused on farming-related occupational illnesses; and Sandra Ramey, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the University of Iowa College of Nursing, who trains police officers in how to manage their responses to stress.
Among the goals of current initiatives, according to the report, are evaluating and changing the workplace environments to minimize workplace hazards; implementing programs to address job and life risks in tandem and to bolster worker resilience; and increasing access to evidence-based primary care through worksite clinics that provide convenient, low-cost, and efficient care.
Other initiatives underway, according to the report, are rebooting workplace culture through healthy menu choices, walking meetings and fitness; redesigning benefits to reward prevention and wellness; measuring the impact of workplace health initiatives; and building the business case for investing in the health of communities at large.
Specific programs cited include Johnson & Johnson’s Live for Life teams, which offer employees health education and coaching, risk assessment, and clinical interventions at on-site clinics; and Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital’s on-site clinic for its employees, which reduced the number and frequency of employee ED visits and saved both employees and the employer money.
This brief is the second of two focused on nurses’ contributions to building a Culture of Health. The first focuses on nurses’ work where people live, learn, and play.
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