We maintain a safe, healthy work environment to improve employee well-being, productivity and retention. It is our top priority.
In this section:
Texas Health deploys numerous health and wellness interventions to assess and reduce employees’ health risks and help them care for their minds, body and spirit. From health education to weight management and smoking cessation programs, we deploy interventions where they are needed most.
To incentivize better health, we offer health assessments and cancer screenings to earn rewards that are redeemable for gift cards at various restaurants and retailers.
- Promoted the importance of preventive cancer screenings to improve participation, which had decreased during the pandemic.
- Provided free glucometers and test strips for employees with diabetes to help them monitor blood sugar and free blood pressure cuffs for employees with high blood pressure.
- Added new activities to our wellness platform to encourage social connectedness, diversity, inclusion and mental health. We also expanded the amount of times activities could be completed for a reward to increase engagement and better personalize employees’ well-being experience.
- Was honored again for our commitment to employee health and well-being by the National Business Group on Health, which named Texas Health Best Employer: Excellence in Health & Well-Being. The American Heart Association also gave Texas Health gold-level status on its Workplace Health Achievement™ Index.
- Conducted a Be Healthy program survey, which found 75% of respondents have developed positive daily habits, 74% are aware of other benefits, and 63% said the program makes Texas Health a better workplace and they are more engaged at work.
Improving emotional well-being continued to be a priority for Texas Health due to the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. We prioritize and destigmatize mental health care by reminding employees to care for themselves and creating a culture of support through programs, resources and encouragement.
Some key support we offer includes:
- Up to eight free counseling sessions per issue through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
- Self-Care Check-In, which connects employees to mental health providers. Employees talk through how they're feeling, their challenges, and the physical, emotional or behavioral reactions they're experiencing, while clinicians provide tips on coping skills and building resiliency.
- My Wellness Connection, an EAP program that sends licensed clinicians on-site to offer snacks, a friendly face and on-the-spot support for employees who may not feel comfortable seeking help through traditional channels.
- Mayo Clinic’s Well-Being Index to assess physicians’ mental health needs. After discovering they needed more resources, we deployed evidence-based Duke Well-Being tools to their clinics and staff meetings.
- Beating Burnout, a four-part series on combating burnout by building resilience.
- Mental Health First Aid training, a national program that teaches how to respond to signs of mental illness and substance use.
- Mental health rounding and educational information for employees and their families.
- Launched a campaign to destigmatize mental and emotional health concerns, which increased annual EAP utilization to 9%.
- Increased the number of free, confidential counseling visits from six to eight.
- Connected 1,576 employees to compassionate mental health providers through our Self-Care Check-In program.
- Reached more than 6,648 employees at 165 on-site visits after launching My Wellness Connection.
- Conducted a well-being survey and focus groups to identify ways to improve mental health support, active listening and collaboration.
In 2016, Texas Health became a certified Blue Zones Approved Worksite, which recognizes workplaces that promote employee health and longevity. The Blue Zones Worksite Pledge promotes evidence-based actions and lifestyle principles that help make healthy choices easier for employees. These range from providing healthier food options in our cafeterias to installing walking trails and meditation gardens at our healthcare campuses.
- Enabled Blue Zones program leaders to visit employees on-site and offer fresh fruit, words of encouragement and resources to support their well-being.
- Granted employees access to online Blue Zones Purpose Workshops, which help identify gifts and talents. The segments were shortened to make viewing more convenient.
Texas Health is grounded in the belief that integrating faith, spirituality and medicine can enhance treatment and healing. We welcome a diversity of religious faiths and ways employees nurture their spirits. Our board-certified chaplains provide employees with support, comfort and guidance.
Each hospital also has a chapel that provides a quiet place to pray, worship, meditate and breathe. Many sites have meditation gardens for reflection.
Texas Health is committed to protecting our people from harm so that they can devote their attention to caring for people in need and fulfilling our Mission. We proactively take steps to reduce potential risks – from infections and needle sticks, trip and fall hazards, and strains from lifting and transferring patients, to managing combative individuals – using various strategies. These primarily include:
- Developing and implementing systemwide policies, procedures, tools and other controls to provide consistent and reliable safety practices. These range from automated patient lifting equipment to handrails, well-lit hallways, infection control processes, needleless IV systems, safety-engineered sharps, personal protective equipment and more.
- Delivering extensive training and communication that covers how to spot, resolve and report potential hazards.
- Appointing entity environment of care committees and threat management teams to monitor safety risks and develop action plans to address them.
- Conducting risk assessments with our workers' compensation insurance provider to evaluate and optimize everything from ergonomics to industrial hygiene practices.
- Deploying a rigorous health and safety management system that helps us identify and control hazards and risks, comply with applicable health and safety laws and regulations, investigate incidents, and track actions through closure.
To identify how frequently injuries occur and their severity and costs, we require employees to report concerns, injuries, errors and near-misses in an online tracking system. We analyze this data to spot injury frequency, cost and severity trends. We then perform root cause analyses of these events to help us make appropriate corrective actions, which are communicated across the system.
- Trained employees when to use assistance device equipment to complete patient transfers safely.
- Continued to reduce our year-over-year Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incident rate by 5%, lost-time injury rate by 15% and the overall severity of incidents. We also reduced work-related COVID-19 exposures by 40%.
Please see our 2022 Social Purpose Summary Report for additional safety data.
With workplace violence on the rise, Texas Health is committed more than ever to protecting our employees’ safety and well-being. Our comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Program provides training, tools and resources to help employees effectively respond to and alert others of hostile patients and visitors.
We routinely conduct active shooter tabletop exercises to help leaders and employees think through and effectively respond to potential incidents. Texas Health also conducts drills with other community response agencies to build a shared understanding of our response capabilities and practices.
All admitted patients are shown our “Keeping You Safe” video, a proactive tool to help prevent workplace violence. The video outlines Texas Health’s commitment to “providing care in a safe setting, free from abuse and harassment.” It states, “We will not tolerate racism, discrimination or threatening or aggressive language or behavior, including verbal harassment, abusive language, sexual harassment or physical assault.” It also describes the behavior that patients can expect from caregivers, as well as the behavior expected from patients.
In addition to physical protection measures, we provide mental health resources and support to employees who experience distressing events, including access to counseling, chaplains, chapels and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) interventions. CISM is a structured crisis management process that enables impacted individuals to share their experiences, vent their emotions, learn about delayed stress reactions and access additional support to reduce psychological harm.
- Strengthened security and protection in response to a 40% increase in reports of combative patients and visitors since 2019. This entailed amending our workplace violence prevention and intervention policy to clarify further the roles and responsibilities of our leaders and workforce and consolidating prevention-related information to comply with new standards set by The Joint Commission. We reinforced this policy and behavior expectations on signage in emergency departments, in a manager toolkit, and through webinars and other engagements with employees, consumers and their families. Our “Keeping You Safe” video had more than 60,000 inpatient views.
- Enabled caregivers to communicate the aggressive behavior of people currently in our care through our electronic health record and deployed a wireless panic alarm in our hospitals.
- Responded to 28 CISM events, where EAP clinicians supported the mental health needs of 185 employees. We also invested in additional initiatives and resources to support our care teams.
- Reinforced the available solutions to help employees do their best work while protecting themselves. This included providing a framework for employees to leave the room in abusive situations.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Texas Health’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has worked tirelessly to create innovative and relevant mental health resources to ease the emotional burden for employees.
Through our routine Self-Care Check-Ins, we have provided continued support and psychological first aid to our front-line workers while reinforcing the value that mental health support provides.
Many employees appreciate the support and kindness they have received from EAP counselors.
“My EAP counselor was one of the most empathetic and compassionate people I have ever met,” said one employee. “I loved every suggestion she made, from reading books to expanding my circle of friends to helping me understand my fears and not seeing that as a shortcoming. It's hard being tough when you feel so vulnerable. Most especially, she provided some real coping solutions, which have changed my total outlook on life.”
Another caregiver turned down another job offer because she didn’t want to lose her EAP counseling benefits at Texas Health.
“I feel like I’m treated with dignity, respect and care,” she said. “I feel Texas Health cares for me as a human being and is concerned enough about my well-being to provide this resource. I feel extremely fortunate to have access to these services.”