Both Bluford and the report say there are significant obstacles to getting hospital and healthcare system employees to accept healthy behaviors as part of the culture, even as part of a job description. But the biggest one is the failure to appreciate a return on investment and lack of funds to get such programs off the ground.
A few hospitals now make non-smoking a condition for a new hire, but it's a tougher sell – and may face legal challenges – to get hospitals to prohibit employment of people who don't exercise.
Some systems are experimenting with best practices. At Truman, for example, employees can trade up to $1,800 in paid time off hours (including sick time) for reimbursements in wellness-related expenses, such as gym membership fees, and even golf club or bicycle purchases, Bluford says.