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Grow your healthcare practice with better team well-being

With so much focus on patient well-being, it can be easy to overlook staff well-being. Healthcare design and fit-out company Evoke Projects explores how better team well-being will help grow your healthcare practice.


Care for the carer

Caring for the carers is a sound strategy for growing and sustaining a successful business. After all, the ability of the healthcare team to care for patients is obviously paramount. Interestingly, after observing the interrelationship between provider well-being and patient care, Professor T Bodenheimer and Dr C Sinsky proposed that the USA Health Care Triple Aim (which is to improve population health, enhance patient experience and reduce costs) should be expanded to include a Fourth Aim of “improving the work life of health care clinicians and staff”.1

In the UK, Professor Michael West and Dame Denise Coia described how low well-being and associated strain is linked to increased medical errors amongst healthcare workers and could also impair decision making (having a negative impact on medical errors and patient outcomes). They also provided evidence suggesting that doctors with high levels of burnout had between 45% and 63% higher odds of making a medical error compared with those who had low levels.2

The business case for better team well-being

Research on team well-being and business success is convincing. For example, The Workplace Design for Well-being report by Haworth states how companies perform better and have stronger teams through workplace well-being initiatives.3 Their report states that when health and well-being are actively promoted in an organisation:

  • The organisation is seen as 2.5 times more likely to be a best performer
  • Employees are 8 times more likely to be engaged
  • The organisation is seen as 3.5 times more likely to be creative and innovative
  • The organisation is seen as 4 times less likely to lose talent in the next year.

Reducing absenteeism will contribute to business growth and lower operating costs. According to a recent Harvard Business Review case study, Johnson & Johnson’s leaders estimated that their wellness programs had cumulatively saved the company US$250 million on healthcare costs over the past decade.4

Glenn Llopis writes in Forbes about the traditional mindset of seeing staff health and wellness benefits as a “cost” when, in fact, they are “an engine for growth”. He asks “why wouldn’t we want to invest in individuals in every way possible?”.5 This brilliant observation is backed up by the healthcare designers at Evoke Projects. They have seen clients who invest in staff well-being reaping the benefits in terms of motivation, loyalty, energy and attendance.

Workplace well-being initiatives

A wide ranging study into Health and Wellbeing Interventions in Healthcare was undertaken in the UK.6 It cited recent research by Bevan et al that the most common wellness initiatives currently implemented include:

  • Healthy eating initiatives
  • Subsidised gym memberships
  • Support for increased physical activity (e.g. pedometer challenges)
  • Access to Occupational Health (OH) support
  • Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)
  • Stress-management programmes
  • Training for line manager in well-being symptoms and referral.

In assessing the effectiveness of these and other well-being initiatives, the researchers concluded that there was not a ‘winner’. It recommended that healthcare staff should have a choice of which initiatives they engage with because there was not a ‘one-size fits all’ solution.

Physical healthcare design contribution to team well-being

Providing a positive workplace experience for healthcare staff is another way to improve well-being. The healthcare designers at Evoke Projects recommend these ideas for your next healthcare fit-out or refurbishment.

  • Spaces for proper sleep or rest within shift-work practices.
  • Improve air filtration systems as part of a new healthcare fit-out, while smaller scale healthcare refurbishments can incorporate plants that naturally filter the air (see https://www.bhg.com.au/best-air-cleaning-plants for ideas).
  • Healthcare design and fit-outs that conform to WELL Building StandardTM guidelines. Visit their website for more information or talk to the healthcare design team at Evoke Projects.
  • Create pleasant outdoor spaces (e.g. courtyards, rooftops and balconies) as well as inside breakout areas for relaxation, eating and mingling.

As well as providing a medical fit-out and facilities to support team well-being, managers should lead a cultural change that recognises carers need to take care of their own well-being to function at their best.

Please call the healthcare design and fit-out experts at Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692 for more information.

1. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Global Health; Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education; Forstag EH, Cuff PA, editors. A Design Thinking, Systems Approach to Well-Being Within Education and Practice: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2018 Oct 11. Appendix B, The Importance of Well-Being in the Health Care Workforce. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK540859/
2. https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/556.pdf Citing West M, Coia D (2018), Caring for Doctors, Caring for Patients: How to transform UK healthcare environments to support doctors and medical students to care for patients, Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/caring-for-doctors-caring-forpatients_pdf-80706341.pdf
3. https://www.thercfgroup.com/files/resources/workplace-design-for-well-being.pdf
Citing J. Parsons, M. Powell, and V. Culpin, 2012.
4. https://www.thercfgroup.com/files/resources/workplace-design-for-well-being.pdf
Citing L. Berry, A. Mirabito, and W. Baun, 2010
5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2021/07/24/theres-no-growth-without-health-employee-wellbeing-is-non-negotiable/?sh=572aee072986
6. https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/556.pdf

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