Heart Health Month|
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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
February is American Heart Month, and employers have a crucial role to play in reducing the human and financial toll of cardiovascular disease.
One in three American adults has at least one type of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. The direct and indirect costs to our economy in 2008 were estimated at $475 billion.
Studies have shown that employers pay more than double the average health claim for employees with heart-related conditions. There are several ways businesses may be able to reduce these costs. By partnering with local heart disease prevention programs, businesses can learn what other employers are doing to help employees improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. Businesses can also stage employee health fairs that include vascular screenings to identify early signs of vascular disease and help employees better understand their risk factors.
Companies can also equip their facilities with Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, and train employees in CPR and the use of AEDs. Prompt use of an AED and CPR can dramatically increase the chance of survival for people suffering sudden cardiac arrest.
Learning CPR is simpler than ever. AmericanHeart.org offers online and classroom training. They also have a new “Hands-free CPR” application that can be downloaded to your iPhone and used to coach you through CPR. It will soon be available for other mobile devices. For more information, go to HandsOnlyCPR.org.
For our faith-based family of hospitals — Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.