One thing that I, and others in my own social & professional network, have noticed is just how unhealthy many hospital & healthcare workers themselves seem to be. Why is that? Is it due to the stress of constantly caring for others that many in the healthcare industry don’t sufficiently care for themselves? Is it due to the inordinate amounts of shift work and long hours that interferes with their sleep patterns and dietary habits? A combination of the some/all of the above? Or is it something else?
An article about this very topic appeared on Health Leaders Media and discusses just how much this phenomenon is starting to stretch hospital budgets as well. Here are a couple of striking excerpts from the article:
A new Thomson Reuters Healthcare study says that hospital workers not only are generally sicker than the general population, but that they spend about 10% more on healthcare services and consume more of those services.
The study analyzed the health risk and utilization of 1.1 million hospital workers and compared them with 17.8 million health plan members across all industries nationwide.
Among the interesting nuggets of information include:
Hospital employees and their dependents saw their physicians less often than the general public, but were 22% more likely to make an ER visit and spent 18% more time in the hospital if they went there.
The average annual cost for healthcare for hospital workers and their dependents was $4,662, or $538 more than the general population.
There are really many more eye-popping stats in there, so go read the whole article, digest it, give it some thought, and then weigh in with your own thoughts here on this blog as to why this is the case and what the healthcare industry can do to rerverse it. After all, if our own healthcare providers themselves are unhealthy, how can they help set the right example and ask the rest of us to do what it takes to be healthy as well?