Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio, has taken its commitment to patient care to the next level. Fairfield’s leadership team recognizes that by fostering employee satisfaction they are also providing patients with compassionate and high quality healthcare. Fairfield Medical Center is the first hospital in Ohio to be honored by HeartMath for their commitment to making care a priority for their employees, their patients and their community. Their resolve to improve their culture by embracing this philosophy has earned them the HeartMath® Hospital designation as well as HeartMath’s Continuity of Care award.
Fairfield Medical Center (FMC) exemplifies the kind of organization in which leaders understand that the success of their operations depends on the success and well-being of their employees. Mina Ubbing, Fairfield’s CEO, strives to fulfill FMC’s overall mission to be a hospital of excellence, caring for staff, patients and the community. In 2007 FMC introduced the HeartMath program called Transforming Stress, as an organization-wide initiative to support their mission by improving quality of life for their staff and thereby increasing the quality of care for patients. The program provides proven techniques for helping employees reduce stress, increase resilience and improve their communication and listening skills in the workplace.
Since the start of this initiative over 1000 employees have been trained in the HeartMath program, and training continues, with 40-50 employees being trained each month. FMC’s HeartMath Instructors — Pam Starlin, Teresa Ryan, Cynthia Pearsall, Dr. Shashi Gogate, Mina Ubbing, and Misty Newsome — have delivered targeted team workshops resulting in improved team building and communication skills, as well as a variety of measurable organizational benefits. The results have surpassed their expectations. FMC has already seen the following benefits:
•2009 Short-term employee disability claims decreased 57% as compared to 2008 claims cost.
•Employee health care claims decreased in 2009.
•Employees continue to report reduced physical stress symptoms and improvements in vitality, resiliency and emotional intelligence.
•Reports from the 2009 FMC employee satisfaction survey show dramatic improvements in communication scores and the HeartMath trained staff reported higher job satisfaction than the non-HeartMath trained staff.
Fairfield Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer, Cynthia Pearsall, commented, “We have experienced very positive results from the use of HeartMath in our organization and realize the importance of incorporating HeartMath’s program into our culture. We continue to reach our goal of exceptional performance by lowering the stress of our employees, which increases the quality of care our patients receive and overall patient satisfaction.”
Being admitted in the hospital is often a stressful time for patients as well as family members, and FMC believes it is important to help patients be as comfortable and calm as possible to help facilitate their healing process. Nurses in the FMC patient care units have creatively incorporated HeartMath techniques to help patients reduce stress. This is an empowering experience for patients as they experience shifting out of a state of stress and into a calmer more balanced state. Helping patients reduce their stress during their stay not only makes them more comfortable but it also provides them with practical tools they can use at home as they continue with their healing process.
In addition to the FMC staff receiving the HeartMath training and sharing it with patients, FMC has also initiated community outreach programs. This includes workshops for employees’ family members and friends, workshops for local area schools, and area business leaders. FMC’s licensed HeartMath instructors teach members of their community specific techniques to recognize which circumstances are creating stress, and then change their reaction to those situations and create more resilience to deal with future stresses.
The HeartMath Hospital and Continuity of Care Awards-
The HeartMath Hospital designation is awarded to those hospitals which meet or exceed standards of quality, staff well-being, and patient care. It is the highest recognition that HeartMath bestows upon hospitals nationwide. Additionally, the award honors hospital leaders who exhibit exceptional care for the well-being of their institution’s employees.
HeartMath’s Continuity of Care award recognizes a hospital’s long-term commitment to integrating HeartMath practices into a hospital’s culture for the benefit of staff, patients, and the community.
“HeartMath is extremely proud to present these national awards to Fairfield Medical Center as they have truly demonstrated an organizational commitment to increasing care in the hospital and the community. As a result FMC has seen significant sustainable benefits from implementing the HeartMath program,” said Bruce Cryer, HeartMath CEO. “By incorporating HeartMath tools and techniques into their clinical and administrative practices, the leaders of FMC have committed to monitoring and reducing employee stress and improving employee performance — to the ultimate benefit of their patients and communities.”
“In addition,” Cryer said, “the inherent pressures at all levels of our nation’s hospitals are being exacerbated by the turmoil of the global financial crisis being felt in communities all across the US. In spite of these pressures the leaders of Fairfield Medical Center have demonstrated their commitment to the well-being not only of their patients, but their employees as well.”
The awards were presented for the first time in 2007 to Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva, IL
About Fairfield Medical Center:
Fairfield Medical Center is a 222-bed general acute care facility dedicated to being the major referral center that serves the healthcare needs of southeastern and central Ohio region. The Center is represented by more than 2000 employees, over 600 volunteers and Twig members and a growing team of over 250 physicians who all work together to ensure Fairfield Medical Center’s continuing success in meeting the healthcare needs of its residents. Fairfield Medical Center received the Platinum Fit Friendly Company Award from the American Heart Association in 2009 and was a 2009 finalist for the Global Six Sigma & Business Improvement Awards in the category of “Best Achievement of Organizational Business Improvement in Healthcare.” Learn more at www.fmchealth.org.
About HeartMath LLC:
HeartMath is an innovative performance company providing a range of unique scientifically validated services, products and technology to improve health and well-being, while dramatically reducing stress and boosting productivity. Their emWave technology has won numerous awards including the 2009 Last Gadget Standing People’s Choice Award at the International Consumer Electronics Show. HeartMath was a finalist for the 2009 ABBY Award: Innovative Approach to the Delivery of Healthcare. HeartMath research studies have demonstrated the critical link between emotions, heart function and cognitive performance. HeartMath’s studies on the clinical outcomes of the HeartMath approach have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals such as American Journal of Cardiology, Stress Medicine, Preventive Cardiology, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science. Learn
more at www.heartmath.com.
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