WellSpot Benchmarks for Healthcare Facilities

Healthy Habits to Build a Healthy Community

Healthy Employees Improve Your Healthcare Facility’s Bottom Line

Because healthcare facilities touch the lives of so many people across a broad cross-section of the local community, they are in a unique position to make a significant impact on improving healthy behaviors. 

By implementing changes to improve the health of your employees through our WellSpot Designation program, organizations are equipped to play a role in positively impacting the health of the community. We support you by providing the resources and tools you need to encourage healthy habits like physical activity, healthy eating, stress management and quitting tobacco. Not only do these activities improve the health of staff and patients, they also improve the health of the healthcare facility through decreased costs, improved employee productivity and reduced absenteeism. 

Healthcare facilities that meet certain benchmarks can be designated as a Level 1, 2 or 3 WellSpot, with Level 1 being the highest.

Level 3

  • Tobacco-free policy
  • Patient education
  • Three benchmarks of choice

Level 2

  • Level 3 requirements
  • Screen, Test, Refer or Ask, Advise Refer Implementation
  • Five benchmarks of choice

Level 1

  • All benchmarks met
WellSpot Benchmarks for a Healthier Healthcare Facility

Guidelines for Healthy Changes in Healthcare Facilities

Well-Ahead is here to help your healthcare facility be a leader by becoming a WellSpot. When you implement these evidence-based benchmarks, you will improve the health of your staff and patients and move Louisiana’s health forward!

By implementing a Tobacco-Free Policy you can reduce exposure to smoke and the danger it presents to your employees, patients and visitors. 

A Tobacco-Free Policy prohibits the use of all forms of tobacco products on your healthcare facility’s property, including parking lots and company vehicles. For properties that are leased, the policy must cover 25 feet from each entry point of the facility.

Required Documentation:
Copy of policy.

By providing your employees with the tools they need to geaux tobacco-free, you are helping communities across the state take a major step forward towards a healthier Louisiana. 

Tobacco cessation is a preventive service, and federal guidance suggests the following coverage:

  • Four sessions of individual, group and phone counseling
  • 90 days of all FDA-approved smoking cessation medications
  • Two quit attempts per year
  • No prior authorization for treatments
  • No cost-sharing

Research has shown that most smokers benefit from using counseling, medications and social support to help quit.1 To meet this benchmark, you are required, at a minimum, to provide coverage for counseling and smoking cessation medications.

Required Documentation:
Copy of health plan benefits or health plan promotional materials and written description or pictures of ways in which tobacco cessation coverage is promoted to staff.

By promoting free cessation services to your employees, you are doing your part to help fight the leading cause of preventable death and the source of many chronic diseases and conditions that cause long-term suffering.2,3

You can promote your own in-house cessation programs (if applicable) or the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline. The Quitline is a free cessation resource that links individuals who want to quit using tobacco with trained specialists through phone counseling, web support or both.

Required Documentation:
Written description or pictures of ways in which the LA Tobacco Quitline or other service is promoted to employees.

Federal law requires employers to provide breastfeeding employees with time and a space to express milk. Implementing this benchmark enables you to comply with this law. It can also lead to savings through the retention of your valued employees, reduction of sick time taken and lower healthcare and insurance costs.4 

Even better, providing lactation accommodations in the workplace doesn’t require many resources to implement. Employees simply need reasonable break times, a private space and employer support.

Required Documentation:
Well-Ahead will verify this benchmark is met with the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition.

A worksite wellness program is an employee-centered approach to improving health outcomes, healthy behaviors, productivity and morale in the workplace. Offering wellness activities can provide employees with the opportunity to improve their health, reduce their risk of chronic disease and lower their healthcare costs. For employers, that can mean increased productivity and profit. Worksite wellness programs can also be implemented at little to no cost while creating an environment that helps move Louisiana’s health forward. 

Beginning Implementation starts with management support, designating a program coordinator and completing an employee assessment.

Required Documentation:
Letter from management indicating support for a worksite wellness program. Name of the designated staff person to lead the program. Brief description of worksite/employee assessments planned, in progress, or completed.

Once the employee assessment phase has been completed, you can then move onto the second worksite wellness benchmark for WellSpot designation—Partial Implementation. At this stage, the assessment results will be used to develop a work plan of activities or programs to encourage healthy behaviors surrounding physical activity, nutrition, tobacco cessation and mental health.

Required Documentation:
Copy of wellness work plan or calendar of events specific to the organization, reflective of assessment results and including activity descriptions related to physical activity, nutrition, tobacco cessation and mental health.

Once you have developed a worksite wellness plan, continue to encourage and motivate your employees as you implement the plan. To meet the full implementation benchmark, perform an assessment after one year to evaluate the impact of the program.

Required Documentation:
Description of how annual program evaluation was conducted or copy of annual evaluation results.

Healthy snacking is essential to promoting wellness and providing the best nutrients for health, energy and productivity. With more than 36% of Louisiana residents considered obese, accessibility to nutritious snack options that are low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium can change the way your employees, patients and visitors snack and help improve their overall health.5

You can make the healthy choice the easy choice when it comes to selecting snacks and beverages for vending machines at your facility. 

In order to meet this benchmark, at least 50% of snacks and beverages you provide to employees (including each vending machine) must meet one of the approved healthy vending guidelines provided at these links:

Required Documentation:
Inventory of vending machine or snack options from vendor (with nutritional information if available) or picture of vending machine (if nutritional information is posted on the machine).

By promoting self-assessment tools, you can help your employees better understand their health and reduce the risk diabetes and heart disease. As a result, your employees will miss less work due to illness or hospitalization and have lower healthcare costs. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 108 million Americans have high blood pressure and more than 30 million Americans have diabetes.6,7 Encourage your employees to take the self-assessments to have a better understanding of their health.

Please note that these evidence-based self-assessments have been developed by national partners and should not be used in place of a visit to a healthcare provider.

Self-Assessment Tools for Heart Health:

My Life Check by American Heart Association

Heart Age Predictor Using BMI by CDC

Sample Communication to Promote Heart Health Self-Assessments 

Self-Assessment Tools for Prediabetes:

Prediabetes Risk Test by CDC, AMA, ADA and Ad Council

Sample Communication to Promote Prediabetes Self-Assessment

Required Documentation:
Written description or pictures of ways in which the self-assessment tools are promoted.

The majority of people’s waking hours are spent at work, and many of those hours are spent in meetings that involve long periods of sitting. This reduces an employee’s concentration, productivity and energy level. By implementing this benchmark, you can create a culture of health through simple changes that help your employees eat well and be physically active during the workday. 

In order to meet this benchmark, your facility must adopt and encourage a nutrition-based policy.

Required Documentation:
Copy of at least one policy that makes healthy food options more accessible.

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and the leading driver of health care costs, making prevention and management critical to improving health and reducing costs. One way to improve prevention and management is to increase health system referrals to effective chronic disease prevention and management programs. Health care provider referral can be an important predictor of a patient’s enrollment in chronic disease prevention and management programs. Health care providers are often viewed as credible sources of health advice, and thus likely to influence behavior change in their patients.


  • Referrals for prediabetes should be to a local or virtual CDC-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP).
  • Referrals for diabetes should be to local or telehealth accredited or recognized Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) program.
  • Referrals for hypertension can be to any type of lifestyle change program such as Weight Watchers, local health education classes, virtual/online health coaching, self-monitored blood pressure (SMBP) etc.
Required Documentation:
Copy of clinic protocols or workflow highlighting STR process for prediabetes, diabetes and hypertension.

According to the U.S. Office of Minority Health, Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) is “a way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals.”10 By implementing this benchmark, your facility can help eliminate health inequalities and improve health outcomes for diverse populations in Louisiana. 

To help provide effective, understandable and respectful services at all points of contact with patients, healthcare facilities looking to earn WellSpot designation should implement one of the following practices: 

  • Provision of staff training, sometimes referred to as cultural sensitivity or diversity training
  • Utilization of bilingual providers
  • Utilization of bilingual family members and support staff
  • Utilization of professional medical interpreters
  • Utilization of telephonic interpretation services
  • Provide printed materials in the languages of the facility’s population
  • Assess health literacy of the facility’s patient population
Required Documentation:
Written description documenting adoption of at least one strategy.

You are encouraged to use educational materials as a way to offer patients self-management strategies and empower them to manage their own care when it comes to chronic disease. To meet this benchmark, your facility can educate patients by placing information or hanging posters in waiting rooms or the lobby, posting information in their online patient portal and having clinicians discuss self-management with patients at time of discharge.

Possible topics include:

  • Cancer screening/services
  • Hypertension screening/management
  • Diabetes screening/management
  • Prediabetes
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Oral health preventive care
  • Weight management
  • Nutrition education
  • Physical activity education
  • Tobacco Education
  • HPV vaccination
  • Screening tools (prediabetes, diabetes, heart health)
Required Documentation:
Materials related to at least four of the suggested topics visible in waiting area or sent home at discharge/visit conclusion.

Healthcare providers play a key role in identifying patients that use tobacco and helping them quit. In fact, according to the CDC tobacco quit rates increase when healthcare providers consistently identify and treat tobacco use. The majority of people who use tobacco want to quit, but getting started often takes support and motivation from trusted sources. Help your patients begin their quit story. Ask them if they use tobacco, advise them to quit, and refer them to quit resources during visits. Make tobacco screening and referral a standard of care at your facility.

To meet this benchmark for WellSpot recognition, take the trainings listed below or provide proof of your facilities current cessation screening, treatment, and referral process.

  • Brief Tobacco Intervention Training: The Brief Tobacco Intervention is a quick, easy and effective approach for providers to address patient tobacco use in less than three minutes. This saves time for you and your staff, and ensures that your patients receive the treatment they need.
  • Fax-To-Quit Training: By becoming a Fax-To-Quit Provider, you can refer patients directly to the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline. This means that patients no longer have to take the first step in calling the Quitline. The Louisiana Tobacco Quitline will contact the patient at a time most convenient for them. Simply complete the training module linked below followed by a short quiz to become a certified Fax-To-Quit provider.
Required Documentation:
Copy of clinic workflow highlighting AAR screening process for tobacco use.

Team-based care allows physicians to truly connect with their patients by involving more of the practice staff in patient care, including handling patients’ questions, calls and messages. Utilizing a physician-led, team-based care approach ensures everyone is aware of the patient’s important health information. Training can include an in-person training, attendance at a webinar, or conference attendance. Training must be available to clinical and non-clinical staff.

Required Documentation:
Copy of clinic workflow highlighting team-based care strategies and documented training date(s) and attendance sheet for team-based care training(s) for clinical staff

You can register to become a WellSpot. Take the assessment to begin.


Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Tobacco Use and Dependence Guideline Panel. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK63952/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008;57(45):1226–8. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5745a3.htm

3 American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control Report for Louisiana. Retrieved from: http://www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org/state-grades/louisiana/highlights.html

4 The Business Case For Breastfeeding. Published in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/files/documents/bcfb_business-case-for-breastfeeding-for-business-managers.pdf

5 Adult Obesity Rates, State of Childhood Obesity, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. https://stateofchildhoodobesity.org/adult-obesity/

6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Facts About Hypertension in the United States. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm

7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Diabetes Quick Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/quick-facts.html

8 Sinsky  C.A., Bodenheimer  T., (2019).  Powering-Up Primary Care Teams: Advanced Team Care With In-Room Support.  Retrieved from http://www.annfammed.org/content/17/4/367.full.pdf

9 American Medical Association. Team-Based Care Improve Patient Care and Team Engagement Through Collaboration and Streamlined Processes. https://edhub.ama-assn.org/steps-forward/module/2702513

10 Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/clas

11 American Diabetes Association, The Burden of Diabetes in Louisiana. http://main.diabetes.org/dorg/PDFs/Advocacy/burden-of-diabetes/louisiana.pdf