Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and hospitalization in Canada, yet something as simple as checking your blood pressure can help prevent or catch it in the act. Elevated blood pressure is related to the development of cardiovascular disease. Every 20-point increase of the systolic number and every 10-point increase of the diastolic number doubles your cardiovascular mortality rate. High blood pressure also significantly increases your risk for stroke, ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and heart failure(Government of Canada, 2019).
Did you know that roughly 1/5th of your workforce has hypertension? And those are just the diagnosed cases – the true prevalence is estimated to be much higher. 21.1 million visits to community physicians are made annually for high blood pressure, and not surprisingly, it is the #1 reason for taking medication.
Have you ever looked into how many of your employees are making hypertension medication claims? With over 4 million antihypertension medication prescriptions being written every month – costing over $2.3 billion in physician, medication and laboratory costs in one year alone – there are probably a few.
Despite the prevalence of hypertension in Canada, there are so many lifestyle changes that can help – people just don’t know about them.
Cue the Med-I-Well Method. We have run blood pressure campaigns and heart health clinics, provided guest lectures, and conducted one-on-one coaching to help employees back to good heart health. Here’s a case example of a blood pressure campaign that we ran with an organization of over 350 industrial employees.
Our campaigns are based on the 4 core elements of Med-I-Well: educate, motivate, inspire and enhance.
The first step is always knowing where you are starting from, and being educated about how to interpret your own health data. To educate the employees about blood pressure, we hosted an on-site interactive education booth twice a week for four weeks with two Health Coaches present. The coaches attended morning meetings to teach crews how to correctly use the blood pressure cuffs that we make available at all sites that we work with.
To get employees motivated to take ownership of their heart health, we created incentive-based challenges that they could complete over the course of the month and submit to an on-site ballot box for a chance to win a Garmin Fitness Tracker valued at over $200.00.
From our experiences in corporate health, we have helped numerous employees and their spouses make lasting and inspiring changes. With their permission, we showcase stories like Tim who checked his blood pressure cuff at work one day and was shocked to see 170/95 appear on the monitor. He went to the physician and was put on medication. With the help of Med-I-Well's Health Coaches, Tim and his wife made significant changes to their nutrition and lifestyle and he regained control of his blood pressure to the point where he no longer requires medication. Tim truly feels he has become a better, healthier person.
To further enhance the benefits of the campaign, a range of additional services were provided, including health risk assessments that screened other biometrics such as cholesterol, blood glucose and body composition that can contribute to increase heart disease risks. Material was also made available on-site that provided employees with information on nutrition, movement, emergency response, and other related topics to heart health that they could take home to their families.
Over a third of the workforce engaged in the campaign, submitting over 250 heart health activity sheets and taking over 200 blood pressure reading with the MWS health coaches.