Caring for Patients and Employees

by Keith Steffen , OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

At OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, we are committed to caring for our patients, as well as our employees. We realize they lead busy, and sometimes stress-filled, lives in addition to the stress in healthcare that isn’t going away. Our medical center was recently awarded the HeartMath Hospital Designation and the Continuity of Care Award.

The HeartMath Hospital Designation is the highest recognition awarded by HeartMath, LLC to honor those hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to a consistency of care for the well-being of their employees, which can lead to increased employee satisfaction, staff retention and patient satisfaction. HeartMath is a program OSF Saint Francis Medical Center uses to teach employees how to focus on their hearts, minds and breathing. It’s been medically proven that regular use of these tools helps lower stress and blood pressure, as well as improve overall health.

Until now, there was only one recipient of these two awards—Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva, Illinois. For 2008, just two hospitals have been chosen to receive these awards: OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee. It is interesting to note that the first three recipients of these awards are all from Illinois!

To receive these awards, a hospital must meet the following criteria:

• The HeartMath program has been in place for three years or more.
• The project manager and executive team have found ways to integrate HeartMath into the hospital culture or community, through at least three of the following avenues of expansion:

  • HeartMath tools and/or customized workshops have periodically been integrated into offerings at a hospital’s Leadership Institute or management development meetings.
  • HeartMath program is offered as a component of new-employee orientation.
  • HeartMath workshops have been customized for employee groups or departments, as requested by department managers.
  • Health practitioners at the hospital have incorporated the HeartMath’s emWave technology into their work with patients, either for inpatient or outpatient groups.
  • Internal trainers outreach to the community through HeartMath workshops, customized workshops for patients with chronic disease, employees’ families, local schools or the general public.
  • Internal trainers deliver HeartMath workshops to employees of local businesses as part of their wellness or occupational health programs.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center has met the first, second and fourth bullets of the expansion criteria listed above.

During these troubling economic times, it’s important as employers that we look after the well-being of our employees. They are the backbone to any organization and their well-being makes a better place to work and serve the needs of those around you. Congratulations to our staff members who helped to kick off the program at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. iBi

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