health

Hospital employees less healthy than other workers

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 5, 2012

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People working in hospitals are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma, depression and obesity than other U.S. workers, said a study issued Oct. 15 by Truven Health Analytics, which delivers analytics tools and other services to the health care industry.

In 2010, researchers assessed health risks and health care use among 740,000 hospital workers and their dependents. They compared the findings with health data on 25 million people employed in professions outside hospitals and their dependents.

They found that hospital workers are 5% more likely to be hospitalized. Hospital employees with chronic diseases also tend to be sicker than people in other professions with chronic conditions (link). Health care spending on medical treatment and prescription drugs is 9% higher for hospital employees and their dependents.

Researchers identified 10 steps to improve health for hospital and health system employees. Those steps include analyzing the health risks of the population, defining health goals, reviewing and revising policies to support a healthy workplace and measuring progress.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/11/05/hlbf1105.htm.

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