Online Program

Assessing workforce health and wellness needs: Cambridge health alliance worksite wellness attitudes survey and claims analysis

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kelly O'Connor, MPH, CPH, Dept. of Population Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Joy Curtis, Human Resources, Cambridge Health Alliance, Somerville
David Porell, Chief Administrative Officer at Cambridge Health Alliance, Medford, MA
Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA
Background: Adopting public health strategies in the workplace is an important strategy for improving the health of the public here and abroad. A healthy work environment can support healthy lifestyle choices and reduce health care expenditures. Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a public self-insured health care system with over 3000 employees, began its employee health efforts in 2011 with a wellness attitude survey and analysis of health care claims to inform future wellness efforts.

Methods: In 2012, CHA conducted a survey of employees' attitudes toward their personal health, worksite culture, and potential health programs. The survey was offered in multiple languages, online, and on paper. Communications via email, e-newsletter, announcements, and flyers were used to encourage employee participation. Additionally, claims data on all employees were analyzed to best understand the main drivers of cost and preventive conditions. An analysis of claims specific to employees provided insight into the conditions most affecting the workforce.

Results: Of the 3,081 employees targeted, 1,330 (40%) responded to the survey; 88% agreed they would change lifestyle behaviors to improve their health, and 77% were interested in participating in a formal program. In reviewing claims data, major drivers of cost were cancer, musculoskeletal conditions, depression and lifestyle related conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Conclusions: Preliminary analysis of the survey and claims data indicate that major issues facing CHA employees include obesity, hypertension, and stress. Data from this initial needs assessment will be used to develop an appropriate employee health program to be launched in 2013.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe the elements necessary to a workforce wellness survey that is useful in informing the design of a wellness program. Design an effective communications plan to ensure a high survey response rate.

Keyword(s): Workforce, Employer-Provided Health Insurance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Kelly manages and oversees Population Health programs at Cambridge Health Alliance including the emerging Employee Wellness Program. With a background in public health,organizing interagency collaboratives, and quality management, she brings a data driven, strategic approach to programs she managers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.