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E-Health program BioCheck makes Erasmus MC employees more vital and sustainable

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Healthcare personnel work under great pressure, now and in the years to come. To keep employees vital and sustainably employable, Erasmus MC uses BioCheck’s E-Health program. “Colleagues feel fitter and have a better balance in their lives,” says Sonja Smits, labor and organizational expert at the internal occupational health and safety service of the Rotterdam hospital.

The challenge

Sonja Smits is program manager of Heart for Erasmus. This is a vitality platform for all employees of Erasmus MC. ‘We started Hart voor Erasmus shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19,’ says Sonja. ‘As everyone knows, the corona period was a tough time for hospitals. Especially in the beginning, when we did not yet know the virus well and many corona patients ended up in hospital.’

‘From the occupational health and safety service, we wanted to do even more for our people to keep them as vital and resilient as possible,’ says Sonja. ‘Especially because in healthcare we usually take better care of others than we do of ourselves. We ignore many signals. That is not good. That is why we looked for ways to help our people prevent fatigue and burnout complaints.’

The solution

In its search, Erasmuc MC ended up with BioCheck’s E-Health program. “We felt that was a good addition to our offering,” continues Sonja, who partly participated to experience how the program works. ‘The E-Health program allows you to work on your vitality in an accessible way, including by using the app and training independently three times a week. In addition, BioCheck is different from other programs in that it chooses a physical rather than a cognitive approach. The use of data and measuring your values ​​daily via an app is also distinctive. That really appeals to some of our colleagues.’

‘I personally liked that the BioCheck app puts you to work every day. That is why life remains. You are then concerned with your own health and vitality every day. With many other apps it is only interesting at first; then it waters down. What I also found useful is that you can chat with your coach. Then a question is quickly asked, especially because it is also answered quickly. The video calls with your supervisor are also of added value. These make the process more personal, but it also helps with interpreting data. Moreover, those calls are a stick behind the door for some people.’

A group of 15 employees followed the E-Health program for six months. ‘We thought it was a good idea to kick off the process with a webinar,’ says Sonja. ‘Patrick van Luijk and Stans van der Poel explained more about the vision of BioCheck and the scientific basis of the programs. At Erasmus MC we love scientific research and data. This therefore fitted in well with the experiences of our people. Ultimately, we received 40 registrations based on that webinar, while we only had 15 places for the pilot.’

The results

Afterwards, the measurements were analyzed and all participants completed an evaluation form. On average, the participant’s recovery capacity (better ability to recover) increased by 17 percent, a high percentage in a working population. The CIS score (Individual Tension Checklist, which measures subjective fatigue and related behavioral aspects) was 33 percent lower – also a high score for workers.

‘All participants remained below the critical line, at which fatigue becomes problematic,’ says Sonja. ‘They also indicated that they were in better condition, felt fitter and experienced a better balance in their lives. These are valuable insights. They show that this BioCheck program works. 78 percent of the participants indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied.’

These results are important for Erasmus MC as an employer. Sonja: ‘This makes our people more vital and therefore more employable and sustainable. That is extremely important, because we have the necessary capacity challenges. On the one hand, we are waiting for young, talented healthcare workers. But on the other hand, we want to retain our current employees. This works better if they are vital and can keep up their work well. Then they also enjoy the work more. It would be a shame if knowledge and experience were lost because people became overtired.’

The sequel

After the successful introduction, a second process will soon start with Erasmus MC employees. Sonja: ‘We are adjusting a few things compared to the pilot. Partly on the advice of BioCheck, the program now lasts the regular eighteen weeks instead of six months. This may make it more motivating for colleagues to participate. And also easier to maintain. We also add an extra measurement at the end of the process, so that we can see the differences between before and after participation even better.’

‘We are also looking at the other BioCheck programs,’ Sonja concludes. ‘You cannot prevent fatigue or burnout complaints for everyone; We also want to offer support to colleagues with these complaints. Ultimately, I expect the programs to become a permanent part of our Heart for Erasmus programme. It really is a nice addition to what we already offer.’

Would you like to know more about the various recovery and vitality programs that BioCheck offers? Look at this page or contact us without obligation for the possibilities, via https://biocheck.nl/contact/.

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