Online Exclusives

Wellness in the Workplace

By Joanna Cosgrove, Online Editor | September 10, 2012

Innovative health care interface helps employers encourage workplace wellness by empowering employees with practical healthcare tools.

In a time of increasingly scrutinized bottom lines, U.S. employers continue to implement a variety of creative incentives to cultivate happier, healthier employees in an effort to stimulate and maximize workplace productivity.  While unlocking the keys to making employees happy can be a relative process, encouraging an employee’s overall health and wellness doesn’t have to be. The Enterprise Health and Wellness Solution from Burlington, VT-based PureWellness empowers and encourages employees to take charge of their own wellness via a simple-to-navigate web interface that can be customized by employers to engage and inspire their workforce.
The company’s Theresa Van De Veere, director of marketing, told Nutraceuticals World that the Solution’s proprietary technology platform allows organizations – employers, health plans, health systems, hospitals, etc. – to design, implement and manage their own wellness programs. “While the programs vary according to the organization, the platform provides stability and customization options that help employers facilitate their program for them, it can streamline the management and administration – all of the things that take a ton of time on the backend,” she said.
Another point of differentiation is the tool’s customized interactivity. “On the user end, whether it’s the employees or health care member, there are a lot of different engagement tools,” explained Ms. Van De Veere. “There are traditional food logs and exercise trackers but the differentiating factor of ours is that when the user first logs in, they take a health risk assessment that asks about - behaviors, habits, family history, etc. - to determine where the user is in terms of their goals and what the best course of action would be. The platform then starts streaming new content that is relevant to the unique risks and the goals of the user, inspiring them to check out wellness tools they might not have known about.
The interface also takes the guesswork out of how to get healthy and stay that way. “Traditionally-delivered health and wellness content can become quite overwhelming, especially if users aren’t sure how to logically progress through it,” commented Ms. Van De Veere. “Our platform delivers content that can help guide and engage users who may have risk factors indicating a family disease history or a pre-diabetic symptoms. It will send action items, suggest practical workshops, and essentially guide users through what to do, step by step, depending on their specific health and wellness needs.”
The platform’s content is gleaned from a variety of sources. “We have pre-programed content and we index the entire Healthwise database of articles and videos, which is very comprehensive,” said Ms. Van De Veere. “And because a lot of organizations already have already developed their own programs, we enable the customization of content, so clients can swap out, integrate or supplement their own health messages as well.”  
Established in 2001, PureWellness’ Solution is catching on with increasingly wellness-savvy corporations such as BlackRock Financial, LinkedIn and Geisinger Health Plan. “Health Plans call it member engagement and population health, corporations call it employee or worksite wellness,” said Ken Kaufman, president of PureWellness. “Regardless of what you call it, we continue to deliver a state-of-the-art wellness platform to notable organizations.”
In addition to adding a number of new clients to their fold, last month PureWellness announced the release of HL7 standards-based Continuity of Care Documents (CCD) for health information exchange between the PureWellness solution and CCD-supported Electronic Health Records.
The new CCD integration enables members and health coaches to synchronize and share lifestyle, behavior, and risk information with care providers and their associated data networks. CCD is the adopted standard by most Electronic Health Records systems and the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®). “Not only is CCD support a critical component in connecting patients and providers, it’s vital to successfully administering effective ACOs, PCMH and other patient engagement strategies,” the company said via press release.
“Members, patients and providers can now share key health and prevention data with other pertinent health information systems,” commented Mr. Kaufman. “This capability advances the coordination of patient-centered care, which plays an important role in controlling health care costs and improving health and wellness strategies.”
“We have made great strides in getting the most value from Electronic Health Records and implementing innovative care models,” said Janet Tomcavage, Geisinger Health Plan’s chief administrative officer of health services. “With their continued commitment to driving patient and member engagement opportunities, and a keen focus on maintaining system integrity, PureWellness is a critical partner in our efforts.”
For more information about the PureWellness Enterprise Health and Wellness Solution, click this link.

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