Guidelines for Healthy Changes in Healthcare Facilities
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 can positively impact 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. These activities not only improve the health of staff and patients, but they also improve the health of the healthcare facility through decreased costs, improved employee productivity and reduced absenteeism.
Dr. Keisha Harvey at Dr. K’s Family Medicine is one of the many healthcare professionals in Louisiana who has taken the lead in moving the health of her community forward by becoming a WellSpot. Like Dr. Harvey, change can begin with you—take the lead in your community today!
Apply for the Worksite Wellness Mini-Grant!
Want to implement or expand your worksite wellness program? Eligible WellSpots can receive up to $3,000 to make sustainable changes that support employee health and wellbeing at their worksite.
Level-up Your Healthcare Facility
Healthcare facilities that meet certain benchmarks can be designated as a Level 1, 2 or 3 WellSpot, with Level 1 being the highest.
- Tobacco-free policy
- Patient education
- Three additional benchmarks of choice
- Level 3 requirements
- Screen, Test, Refer or Ask, Advise Refer Implementation
- Five benchmarks of choice
- All benchmarks met
WellSpot Benchmarks for a Healthier Healthcare Facility
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!
Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Policy
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 leased properties, the policy must cover 25 feet from each entry point of the facility.
Copy of policy.
Comprehensive Tobacco Cessation Coverage within Employee Health Plans
By providing your employees with the tools they need to geaux tobacco-free, you are helping communities across the state take a major step toward 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 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.
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.
Promotion of Quit With Us, Louisiana or Another Approved Cessation Service Organization
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 in-house cessation programs (if applicable) or Quit With Us, Louisiana. This free cessation resource links individuals who want to quit using tobacco with trained specialists through phone counseling, web support or both.
Written description or pictures of ways in which Quit With Us, Louisiana or another service is promoted to employees.
Designation as a Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Champion
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 your facility doesn’t require many resources. Employees simply need reasonable break times, a private space and employer support.
Well-Ahead will verify this benchmark is met with the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition.
Worksite Wellness Program—Beginning Implementation
A worksite wellness program is an employee-centered approach to improving health outcomes, healthy behaviors, productivity and morale in the workplace. Offering wellness activities gives your employees 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.
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.
Worksite Wellness Program—Partial Implementation
Once the employee assessment phase has been completed, you can move on to the second worksite wellness benchmark for WellSpot designation—Partial Implementation. At this stage, the assessment results are used to develop a work plan of activities or programs to encourage healthy behaviors surrounding physical activity, nutrition, tobacco cessation and mental health.
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.
Worksite Wellness Program—Full Implementation
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, assess and evaluate the program’s impact after one year.
Description of how annual program evaluation was conducted or copy of annual evaluation results.
At Least 50% of Vending Items in Each Snack and Beverage Machine or Provided Snack Options Meet Approved Healthy Vending Guidelines
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 low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium can change how your employees, patients and visitors snack and help improve their overall health.5
You can make the healthy choice the easy choice when selecting snacks and beverages for vending machines at your facility.
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:
- NANA, AHA and GSA/HHS approved vending options
- NAMA’s Fit Pick Product List
- Ochsner Eat Fit Vending Guide
- Nemours Vending Guidelines
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).
Promotion of Self-Assessment Tools for Prediabetes and Heart Health Among Employees
By promoting self-assessment tools, you can help your employees better understand their health and reduce the risk of 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 better understand 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
- Sample Communication to Promote Heart Health Self-Assessments
Self-Assessment Tools for Prediabetes:
Written description or pictures of ways in which the self-assessment tools are promoted.
Adoption of Nutrition-Based Healthy Vending Policy or Healthy Meeting Policy
Most people’s waking hours are spent at work, and many of those hours are spent in meetings that involve long periods of sitting. These stationary periods reduce 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.
To meet this benchmark, your facility must adopt and encourage a nutrition-based policy.
Copy of at least one policy that makes healthy food options more accessible.
Screen, Test, Refer (STR): Chronic Disease Prevention
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. and the leading driver of health care costs. Prevention and management of these diseases are critical to improving health and reducing costs, and increasing health system referrals to effective chronic disease prevention and management programs can help. 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 credible sources of health advice and are 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.
Copy of clinic protocols or workflow highlighting STR process for prediabetes, diabetes and hypertension.
Implementation of at Least One Practice for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services
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
- Use of bilingual providers
- Use of bilingual family members and support staff
- Use of professional medical interpreters
- Use of telephonic interpretation services
- Provide printed materials in the languages of the facility’s population
- Assess the health literacy of the facility’s patient population
Written description documenting the adoption of at least one strategy.
Patient Education Materials Related to at Least Four of the Suggested Topics. Visible in Waiting Area or Sent Home at Discharge/Visit Conclusion
You are encouraged to use educational materials to offer patients self-management strategies and empower them to manage their own care for chronic diseases. 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 during discharge.
Possible topics include:
- Cancer screening/services
- Hypertension screening/management
- Diabetes screening/management
- Fluoride treatment
- Oral health preventive care
- Weight management
- Nutrition education
- Physical activity education
- Tobacco Education
- HPV vaccination
- Screening tools (prediabetes, diabetes, heart health)
Materials related to at least four of the suggested topics visible in waiting area or sent home at discharge/visit conclusion.
Ask, Advise, Refer (AAR): Tobacco Use
Healthcare providers play a key role in identifying patients who use tobacco and helping them quit. According to the CDC, tobacco quit rates increase when healthcare providers consistently identify and treat tobacco use. Most 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 facility’s 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 approach saves time for you and your staff, and ensures that your patients receive the treatment they need.
- Connect2Quit Training: By becoming a Connect2Quit provider, you can refer patients directly to Quit With Us, Louisiana. This means patients no longer have to take the first step in getting help. A tobacco cessation counselor will contact the patient at a time convenient for them. Complete the training module linked below, followed by a short quiz to become a certified Connect2Quit provider.
Copy of clinic workflow highlighting AAR screening process for tobacco use.
Team-Based Care Implementation
Team-based care allows physicians to connect with their patients by involving more of the practice staff in patient care, including handling patients’ questions, calls and messages. Using a physician-led, team-based care approach ensures that everyone knows the patient’s important health information. Training can include in-person, attendance at a webinar, or conference attendance. Training must be available to clinical and non-clinical staff.
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.