Friday, December 23, 2011


Enterprise Architecture: Ways to make healthcare more affordable (Part Two)

I previously blogged on ways to make healthcare more affordable without compromising quality or availability. Today, I will share a few thoughts on what employers can do to bring down costs for their employees...

Reduce stress in the workplace: How come HR seems to only focus on employee benefits and not the cause of stress in general? We all know that stress causes cortisone to increase in the body which can impact those with high blood pressure, diabetes and even high cholesterol.

In an informal survey of Enterprise Architects that work for The Hartford, over 60% take some form of medication in the above three categories. Do you think there may be some correlation of the impact of healthcare to the leaders in which they report?

Another informal survey indicated that project managers were having an increase in diabetes. Who else thinks there is a high probability that this could be correlated to the fact that the culture has morphed away from people eating healthy foods in the cafeteria and doing group walks during lunch to one where people grab the quickest thing possible from the vending machine and run to their next meeting?

Provide healthcare at work: How many people have to take time off from work simply to make a doctor's visit? Many people have to take on stress of juggling their calendars just to get an appointment with a doctor for their stress! Why can't we save doctors for major medical concerns and instead provide a nurse onsite for minor ailments?

Even if you work in a building such as the World Trade Center where there are hundreds of distinct tenants, the value proposition of everyone in the building sharing a nurse or two would pay productivity dividends for both employers and employees alike. Seeing a nurse would be cheaper than a doctor and could be done without the arduous process of making an appointment.

Encourage government to provide incentives for teleworker programs: Ever notice how many people use their cars to commute to work in crowded metros such as New York City, Atlanta and Los Angeles? Many Americans have back problems and therefore the prudent course of action would be to reduce scenarios where they don't have the opportunity to obtain an optimal position.

We could of course encourage car manufacturers to put better seats into vehicles but this has a long tail. What if we could instead find ways to avoid sitting in vehicles that don't have lumbar supports whether it is a car, bus or train and instead let people work from home where they could have a better potential for good posture?

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