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Integrated approach for managing health risks at work--the role of occupational health nurses

Integrated approach for managing health risks at work--the role of occupational health nurses

Aaohn Journal 55(2): 75-87

Currently, many organizations are using a department-centered approach to manage health risks at work. In such a model, segregated departments are providing employee benefits such as health insurance, workers' compensation, and short- and long-term disability or benefits addressing work-life issues. In recent years, a new model has emerged: health and productivity management (HPM). This is an employee-centered, integrated approach, designed to increase efficiency, reduce competition for scarce resources, and increase employee participation in prevention activities. Evidence suggests that corporations using integrated HPM programs achieve better health outcomes for their employees, with consequent increased productivity and decreased absenteeism. Occupational health nurses are well positioned to assume leadership roles in their organizations by coordinating efforts and programs across departments that offer health, wellness, and safety benefits. To assume their role as change agents to improve employees' health, nurses should start using the language of business more often by improving their communication skills, computer skills, and ability to quantify and articulate results of programs and services to senior management.

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Accession: 049369412

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PMID: 17323873

DOI: 10.1177/216507990705500205

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