Pullman Regional Hospital: Taking Care of Patients and Employees
Pullman Regional Hospital, located in Pullman, Washington, is a community leader of integrated healthcare services. The organization’s mission statement reads, “[We] exist to nurture and facilitate a healthier quality of life for our community.” But that extends beyond just patients.
With over 600 members of the Pullman Regional Hospital family, the organization takes employee wellbeing very seriously. In fact, they’ve always been a pioneer in employee wellness; for more than a decade, Pullman has had a shared, forward-thinking vision of holistic wellbeing for all its employees. But achieving this goal wasn’t always tenable.
A Vision Beyond Traditional Wellness
Over 10 years ago, Pullman’s CEO heard a presentation on the importance of looking at community health and employee health together. Since then, the hospital has made it a mission to provide employees access to the same types of wellbeing resources as the broader community.
What started as a focus on physical health has since expanded to take on a more holistic perspective that includes a focus on culture and building community.
While Pullman’s planned wellness initiatives were motivated by care for its employees, they also served as a competitive advantage in the job market. Carrie Coen, Pullman’s Chief Reliability Officer, said, “We wanted to make sure we could offer the best possible wellness programs for our employees so that we could not only attract top candidates, but also retain them.”
However, to implement a holistic wellness plan, Pullman would need a proactive, forward-thinking partner.
Finding a Solution that Supports Customized Wellbeing
When Pullman Regional Hospital first started its wellbeing journey, hospital leaders brainstormed activities and initiatives that were too ambitious for many platforms to support.
“We wanted our employees to have the opportunity to create their own wellness challenges while still retaining some structure in that self-directed path,” explains Veronica Hopwood, Pullman's Wellness Coordinator.
In fact, they interviewed up to 20 wellness companies to find out which ones offered a self-directed wellbeing path with customizable challenges. Unfortunately, most were inflexibly prescriptive and incapable of supporting the kind of autonomy they wanted to give their populations.
With the WellRight platform, Pullman’s leadership and employees were granted complete control over their paths toward wellbeing. With two program actions to complete every year and endless customizable activities and incentives to implement and take part in, Pullman has created tailored wellness activities through WellRight that address more than their employees’ physical health.
The Impacts of Holistic Wellbeing
Since implementing the WellRight platform, Pullman has seen impressive results, both in terms of engagement and employee wellbeing.
Thanks to its holistic wellness program and increased emphasis on employee wellbeing, Pullman has maintained one of the highest retention rates in an area currently facing a nursing shortage. With over 6,000 open nursing positions in the state of Washington that are expected to remain unfilled, Pullman’s wellness initiatives, combined with other programming, have not only improved ROI and retention, but have also successfully kept employees engaged, motivated, and focused on their wellbeing.
“Our unique wellness offering has contributed significantly to our employee retention,” said Carrie Coen, Pullman’s Chief Reliability Officer. “If our employees believe this is a good place to work and that we appreciate what they do, they're going to want to stay. Our wellness program has helped us achieve just that.”
Year over year, an overwhelming 75% of employees were activated on the platform with roughly 41%–61% logging in every month. Despite variances throughout the year, overall program engagement for the health system consistently remains at or over 65%, with over half of Pullman’s employees participating.
But numbers alone don’t demonstrate the program’s true impact. One striking example is an employee who discovered they had dangerously high blood sugar levels through a biometric health screening. They had no idea they were diabetic, but thanks to the wellness incentives stemming from the biometric health screening, the employee was able to get the treatment they needed.
Another key impact of the WellRight platform has been the sense of community it promotes. For example, Pullman was able to create a “Social Wall” on the platform that fosters greater community by allowing employees to share recipes and photos, ask questions, and connect with one another.
As Hopwood explained, “Our employees find WellRight’s resources very helpful for instilling a sense of community and belonging. They feel like they are part of something larger than just a wellness program, where they can create their own paths toward wellbeing.”