Employee well-being is incorporated in every aspect of IBM’s global business, from our strategic and business planning to operations such as procurement, construction, manufacturing equipment, real estate leases, product development, acquisitions and outsourcing arrangements.
It is a total health management system that transcends traditional employee well-being programs by recognizing the importance of promoting physical and psychological health. This framework, known as IBM’s Well-Being Management System, provides for a coordinated and consistent approach across all geographies and time zones. And it facilitates proactive planning, execution excellence, measurement and continuous improvement in areas of employee health and well-being. It also supports IBM’s business goals by improving productivity, managing costs and eliminating unnecessary expenses.
“Advancing the health, safety and well-being of our global work force is an absolute priority; it’s a commitment that encompasses the environments in which employees work and the communities in which they live.”Martin J. Sepúlveda, M.D.
FACP, IBM Fellow, Vice President Integrated Health Services
Healthcare System Delivery Reform
IBM Integrated Health Services (IHS) continues to take a leadership position by driving the advancement of health promotion and prevention within healthcare systems around the world. Whether expanding coverage for key preventive services in developing healthcare systems or pressing for the promotion of medical homes in more established systems, IBM strives to take a leadership role for the benefit of the company and its employees, their families and the communities in which they live.
of primary healthcare is covered for U.S. employees enrolled in IBM’s self-insured health plans.
IBM has understood the benefits for driving patient-centric primary care for some time. In 2006, IBM removed the financial barriers for enrolled employees to receive 100 percent coverage for routine and preventive primary care services. In 2010, IBM took an extraordinary step by providing 100 percent coverage for primary healthcare for IBMers in the United States who are enrolled in IBM’s self-insured health plans. There is no longer a co-pay or deductible for in-network primary care with an internist, family practitioner, pediatrician, general practitioner or primary care osteopath.
IBM has led the private sector in the U.S., shifting toward a coordinated and comprehensive primary care model for Medical Homes by founding the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC). We believe this organization has provided the impetus for what has now become a national movement in healthcare delivery. Centered on strong patient-physician relationships and comprehensive primary care, the goal of PCPCC is the establishment of a Medical Home for every patient. IBM’s initiative has brought together more than 700 major employers, consumer groups, patient quality organizations, health plans, labor unions, hospitals, physicians and others, to develop and advance primary care transformation and to test the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of delivery. The mission of the PCPCC is to create a more cost-effective and efficient model of healthcare. It is our belief that, where implemented, the Medical Home will improve health as well as healthcare delivery and result in lower overall expenditures.
Health Information Technology and Analytics
IBM continues to actively promote its vision of smarter healthcare, in which information technology is used to help increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve outcomes. We believe modernization of this kind is a critical step toward better healthcare. IBM leverages sophisticated healthcare analytics to inform its investments and health benefits design, and promotes the use of technology in employee health management, such as offering online Personal Health Records (PHRs). IHS also supports a variety of special projects to advance health information technology (HIT) and health analytics:
- The Taconic Health Information Network and Community (THINC)—A transformation initiative using HIT to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare for the benefit of people in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
- The North Carolina Healthcare Information & Communications Alliance (NCHICA)—An initiative through which participating physicians are able to compile medication histories for their patients and offer electronic prescribing, automated refills and access to the formularies for each of the health plans. Medication error reduction, elimination of duplicate testing and timely access to imaging and lab data are benefits of this project.
In the U.S., IBM employees are provided access to the Employee Health Management Center, which is a single locus of technology for focusing on personal health management and providing comprehensive healthcare information. This innovative tool allows individuals to:
- Securely store and access medical information in their Personal Health Record;
- Assess and understand their personal health risks;
- Understand their medical conditions and treatment options through clinical advisor tools; and
- Receive targeted health information and news tailored to their needs and interests.
New Models in Integrated Clinical Care
IBM delivers an integrated clinical care and health insurance program incorporating health insurance, physicians, wellness, chronic care management, concierge services and care coordination services. The program is designed to simplify and enhance the overall healthcare experience. It aims to evolve the current multi-vendor care management approach to a simpler, fully integrated and enhanced member experience.
The Integrated Health Services Pilot
The Integrated Health Services Pilot was implemented for active IBM employees and family members who reside in Florida, Georgia and New Jersey. The program brings best practices together and aligns with IBM’s integrated healthcare strategy. The pilot advances IBM’s mission in several key areas including: expanded services from wellness to chronic condition management; population management directed by condition prevalence and identified opportunities within prevalence; one integrated technology platform, to coordinate service information; expanded member outreach using campaign management, based on the opportunity to coordinate outbound plus inbound traffic, mail and online connectivity; increased personalization using claims, pharmacy and lab data, and biometric and health risk assessment information when available; integrated service delivery with one health coach serving as primary member contact and engaging specialists when needed; streamlined administration with one trusted partner, one set of reports and one value model; enhanced member empowerment across all conditions; and improved program measurement through an ongoing integrated measurement model.
The personal health coach is a trained healthcare professional with in-depth knowledge of all IBM health benefits and programs and behavioral change strategies, along with expertise in the healthcare system. This new approach will offer an enhanced and seamless provider of comprehensive health services and an enhanced customer service experience, whether the individual needs help coordinating care for complex medical conditions, navigating the healthcare system, understanding treatment plans and tests, or identifying the best providers and support programs.
The pilot has performed well, benefiting more members, more effectively, than non-pilot controls as measured by participation, engagement, value, comparison to program cost and member satisfaction.
- Member Engagement
- Nearly 1 percent of the total population participates per month; more than 11 percent of the population has participated through November 2010. Rates of engagement for the pilot were nearly three times higher than those for the non-pilot population.
- Value Confirmed
- The average value confirmed per member, an indicator of potential future savings, for the pilot was nearly 21 percent higher than that for the non-pilot population.
- Value versus Program Cost
- If performance was based solely on Value Driver closure, a conservative measure, the value of this program is quickly approaching 2:1.
- Member Satisfaction
- Member satisfaction is overwhelmingly positive as measured by feedback from employees and stakeholders.
value versus program cost, a conservative measure of the Integrated Health Services Pilot.
IBM has taken a leadership role in providing access to new personalized medicine opportunities. With the potential to transform healthcare by marrying genomics with clinical treatment, personalized medicine is the science of how someone’s unique attributes, such as genetic makeup, can affect health, including the response to medication or treatment. New developments in personalized medicine have the potential to identify the most effective treatments for individual patients, leading to improved health outcomes.
Improving Health and Health System Performance in the U.S.
- IBM is actively involved in the National Committee on Evidence-Based Benefit Design (NCEBBD). This team of large employers and national experts, representing research, accreditation, physicians, health plans and consumers, seeks to improve quality of care and promote value by using benefit design and purchasing to encourage and reward effective care and discourage ineffective care. By linking benefit design to medical practices with demonstrated effectiveness, the committee seeks to enhance the health and quality of life of employees and their dependents and improve employer return on the investment in benefits. IBM is helping to translate evidence-based assessments into recommendations for plan design, provider selection, reward programs and employee support to reduce misuse and overuse of healthcare dollars and to direct spending to high-value services.
- Dr. Martin Sepúlveda, IBM Fellow and VP of IBM IHS, has also been participating in a study committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, to recommend national strategies for improving the public health system in the United States. This IOM committee issued its first report, For The Public’s Health: The Role of Measurement for Action and Accountability, in November 2010 (available at the Institute of Medicine Web site). The committee will produce two additional reports over the next two years addressing recommendations on funding mechanisms for public health, and legal and regulatory authority for public health effectiveness. In addition, Dr. Sepúlveda worked with the IOM on a recently completed comprehensive report on U.S. national strategies for the prevention and control of chronic liver disease and liver cancer from hepatitis viruses.
- Dr. Sepúlveda is also a leading force in the Institute on Health, Productivity and Human Capital, which develops and shares solutions aimed at improving employee health and productivity. The work of the institute examines and supports the business relationship between population health and engagement, and organizational performance. The institute’s key role centers around providing information and facilitating a meaningful dialogue among large employers, national experts and policymakers regarding employee health and productivity, population health and organizational performance.
- IBM’s Integrated Health Services is an important core participant in the National Leadership Committee on Consumerism and Engagement (NLCCE). This organization provides a leadership forum that focuses on identifying and disseminating best practices and innovative ideas for empowering and engaging employees and their dependents in the healthcare process. The main objective of this important group is to find groundbreaking efforts in the employer, healthcare and public health communities that allow employees and dependents to receive the appropriate preventive care services based on age, gender and level of risk. Another focus is to investigate ways employers can encourage employees and dependents to seek care in alternative settings, including urgent care centers, convenience care clinics, medical tourism centers and on-site medical clinics. It does this through plan design and increased employee awareness of the benefits offered through use of these centers.
Global Healthcare Transformation
Dr. Sepúlveda is the sitting president of the Global Health Benefits Institute, an organization comprising more than 35 global corporations and dedicated to advancing the health of the workforce and transforming the healthcare systems of growth countries. This organization’s mission is to provide affordable business solutions that improve the health and productivity of employees outside the U.S.
Its key objectives and strategies include:
- Creating health value (i.e., effectiveness and efficiency) and improving productivity by promoting innovative, practical and evidence-based health benefit solutions.
- Demonstrating that technology-enabled health improvement programs enhance a company’s competitive advantage as an employer of choice in the recruitment and retention of talent.
- Developing a business case for corporate leadership to invest in health and productivity programs.
- Providing a unique source of information on demographics, health and disability trends and benefits, and comparative information on top-tier providers and vendors.
- Providing a forum where members share best practices and insights, benchmark programs, and create tool kits to develop practical solutions to global health issues.
- Establishing vendor expectations for excellence, including innovation, transparency, efficiency and continuous improvement, which support high-performing healthcare systems.
IBM continues to address healthcare transformation in the U.S. through its work with The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation working toward a high-performance health system. The Commission on a High Performance Health System is a group of distinguished experts and leaders representing every sector of healthcare, as well as the state and federal policy arena, the business sector, professional societies and academia. It is charged with promoting a high-performing health system that provides all Americans with affordable access to high-quality, safe care while maximizing efficiency in its delivery and administration. In addition to formulating policy improvement options and recommendations for health reform implementation, the Commission works to engage policymakers in the executive and legislative branches and key healthcare stakeholders. The Commission sponsors bipartisan briefings and meetings for members of Congress and their staff, aiming to move the U.S. toward a healthcare system that achieves better access, improved quality and greater efficiency, with particular focus on those with the greatest health risks.
Data Analysis for Advanced
Healthcare Diagnosis from IBM
Data visualizations created from real patient data illustrate the multitude of continuous data streams generated by patients in hospital care. IBM enables doctors to analyze the data, identify danger signs and prevent life-threatening infections as part of an advanced healthcare diagnostics system.
Chronic diseases are reaching epidemic proportions worldwide and becoming a severe economic burden to both developed and developing countries. IBM is involved in a project called Evidence-Based Patient Centric Care (ePC3)—in collaboration with China’s Peking University People’s Hospital—that aims to improve care and reduce costs by using electronic health records to analyze the effectiveness of medical treatment based on clinical guidelines. It has four unique features:
- Lifecycle management of clinical guidelines, including modeling, deployment, monitoring, execution and evaluation
- XML-based health records that can be dynamically updated by reconciling health information collected from all clinical events
- Semantic interoperability that follows international standards like HL7 CDA/RIM and IHE
- Sensor-based patient monitoring and mobile event management
IBM opened a new Research Collaboratory in Taiwan in 2010, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs Taiwan, to focus on disease prevention and wellness. The collaboratory is focusing on using technologies including mobile devices, analytics and cloud computing to promote wellness-centric healthcare that will help manage diseases more efficiently and effectively. Cloud computing will be used as the foundation for much of the collaboratory’s work in areas such as sensor data collection, record sharing, analysis and diagnostics. Cloud computing can help Taiwan’s doctors and hospitals coordinate and exchange information more efficiently. These flexible networks will be scalable to integrate and share data, which will help reduce costs.
IBM’s diverse work force provides services in 170 countries, each with unique employee characteristics, languages, cultures and health needs. To meet this challenge, IBM established a Global Wellness and Health Promotion Framework that pairs a centralized strategy with flexible program prioritization and implementation at the regional and local levels.
The framework focuses on four areas:
- Monitoring population health status and risk through strategic data collection and analytics
- Creating healthy workplaces that drive healthy behaviors through smoke-free policies, healthy food selections at the worksite and options for physical activity
- Designing comprehensive healthcare plan support for preventive care
- Implementing strategic behavior change programs based on local health priorities, ranging from weight management to HIV prevention
The framework outlines key program elements for all geographies, although these elements are prioritized and implemented based on local needs. The following are some examples of country leadership in each area.
1. Monitoring population health status and risk through strategic data collection and analytics:
Health agency data provided the catalyst for IBM’s cardiovascular and diabetes screening camps in India. These camps, held at all major IBM India locations, provided clinical and laboratory screening, as well as individual counseling by physicians and dieticians. Further, a Women’s Well-Being Camp helped female employees make informed decisions about nutrition, physical health, weight loss, reproductive problems and cancer awareness. Cervical cancer vaccinations were provided at a discounted rate.
In Central and Eastern Europe, data mining of absenteeism claims identified prevention opportunities related to basic respiratory infections. Understanding this employee health risk led to implementation of an education and awareness campaign, delivered through intranet articles, posters, lectures and a telephone information line.
2. Creating healthy workplaces that drive healthy behaviors through smoke-free policies, healthy food selections at the worksite and options for physical activity:
Initiatives aimed at improving employee nutrition have been supported by collaboration with the company’s on-site food vendors, Sodexo and Eurest. IBM’s primary cafeteria supplier, Eurest, monitors healthy food selections and criteria, presence of appropriate labeling and marketing, and associated education and training for employees on a monthly basis.
IBM India was able to provide special menus of healthy choices at select locations, along with access to individualized counseling by dieticians on healthy eating strategies.
Over the years IBM has made a significant investment in supporting its employees in becoming or staying smoke-free through various programs. Globally, all IBM work locations are smoke-free.
Managing stress in the workplace is also a priority. IBM Japan offers Refresh Blue, a unique program designed to leverage the stress management benefits of regular physical activity, including team stress and stretch breaks.
3. Designing comprehensive healthcare plan support for preventive care:
The economic and social costs of mental health issues are estimated to be around 2.5 percent of the gross national product in the U.S. According to medical data, mental-neurological disorders rank first in disease burden in the country. IBM has long recognized the need to support employees in addressing more than just physical risks. To address this very important health issue, IBM China added medical insurance coverage for all mental disorders in 2008. As with sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, mental disorders were excluded by health insurance products in the China marketplace. No other companies in China covered them in their corporate medical insurance plan at the time. Since then, encouraging changes in corporate health benefits for mental disorders have gradually occurred.
Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes in China have significantly increased in the last three decades. These chronic diseases are associated with unhealthy lifestyle behaviors like smoking, inactivity and poor diet. IBM China collaborated with its insurance provider to fund health promotion and health incentives with a focus on mental health, stress and resilience, inactivity, smoking, unhealthy diet, cancer, and common infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS. This will not only reduce health risks and help contain medical costs in the long term, but also improve productivity and employee morale.
In the U.S., IBM’s Health Benefits Plan integrates multiple programs and analyzes data to improve patient access and outcomes, reduce time away from work, and minimize the cost and impact of behavioral health conditions on the business. Plan members who may be at risk for behavioral health issues receive personalized outreach along with comprehensive care advocacy to help guide them to the right level and duration of care.
4. Implementing strategic behavior change programs based on local health priorities, ranging from weight management to HIV prevention:
In several geographies, IBM has been among the first employers to offer health screening services for employees to understand their health risks and identify potential health issues early. IBM Egypt began with general employee awareness and education, and is now implementing a health screening called “Know Your Numbers” in collaboration with a local hospital. A similar approach was taken in Russia to build awareness among employees and offer access to health screenings at the worksite.
With the need for support beyond behavioral health, IBM launched a Global Resilience Program in 2009. The online resilience program provides employees the ability to respond to stress, pressure and change, such as family and relationship issues, health conditions, or workplace and financial concerns. Tools connect individuals to online resources. This program was implemented in Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, India and the U.S.
Personal Vitality Rebate Program
New science in building the capacity to thrive offers new, exciting opportunities for employees to experience higher levels of energy and vitality. Embracing these innovative techniques, IBM introduced the Personal Vitality Rebate program in 2010. Initiatives include simple techniques to promote recovery, positivity and energy-creating thinking patterns. Practicing these quick, proven techniques positions employees to experience higher levels of vitality immediately and with little effort, resulting in greater engagement and participation. This goes beyond traditional health-risk reduction, helping employees optimize vitality.
Hepatitis B Intervention and Treatment
Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver and is the leading cause of liver cancer. About 2 billion people worldwide have been infected with the virus and about 350 million live with chronic infection. An estimated 600,000 persons die each year due to the acute or chronic consequences of hepatitis B. This infection is closely associated with conditions such as chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatic cancer, etc.
At IBM we believe that we have a responsibility to do what we can to fight widespread diseases like hepatitis, for our employees and for the world. Disease prevention is an important and longstanding IBM health strategy. That’s why, in association with the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM), IBM worked collaboratively to help address the hepatitis problem. Dr. Martin Sepúlveda, IBM Fellow & Vice President, Integrated Health Services, served on the IOM’s Committee on the Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis Infections, which authored a guidance document on the epidemic. At the request of the CDC and several other private and government organizations, the committee evaluated several intervention strategies and developed guidance for healthcare providers.
In China, more people die from hepatitis B-related liver diseases than from HIV/AIDS, pulmonary tuberculosis and malaria combined. In 1999, IBM introduced a hepatitis B vaccination program for its employees in China. Through the vaccination program, the percentage of unprotected employees in IBM China has decreased from 64 percent in 2005 to 15.6 percent in 2009, according to hepatitis B antigen-antibody serology results from annual health checkups. IBM is the first company in China providing a company-paid hepatitis B immunization program for primary prevention to all employees. Through the years, IBM has actively advocated the workplace-based hepatitis B vaccination programs on various occasions. Since 2008, several other companies in China also have started to offer hepatitis B vaccination to their employees.
IBM’s hepatitis B vaccination program in China lowered the percentage of unvaccinated employees from 64 percent in 2005 to just 15.6 percent in 2009.
Due to fear and lack of knowledge on hepatitis B transmission, employment discrimination against hepatitis B virus carriers is also common in China. A 2007 survey showed 69 percent of respondents considered hepatitis B and HIV as the most serious causes of employment discrimination in China, and a 2008 survey showed that 84 percent of 96 multinational companies in China required a hepatitis B test for employment; 44 percent would reject applicants with a positive test result.
IBM is among the first multinational companies in China to have a nondiscriminatory employment policy for persons with hepatitis B and we do not require a hepatitis B test for employment. We are making available professionally delivered education programs on the prevention and management of hepatitis B to employees, and offering voluntary hepatitis B testing through annual health checkups. We also support an employee’s healthcare costs through the health benefits insurance program. Supportive psychological counseling is available throughout China.
Due to its contributions to hepatitis B prevention and anti-discrimination, IBM China was recognized by the Chinese Foundation for Hepatitis B Prevention and Control and was featured on its Web site as a model for a company that eliminated hepatitis discrimination and constructed an effective workplace-based hepatitis B prevention program.
Protecting Employee Privacy
IBM was one of the first multinational companies in China to have a nondiscriminatory employment policy protecting persons with hepatitis B.
Leadership on HIV/AIDS
In the 1980s, HIV/AIDS first emerged as a world health threat. Early in the epidemic, IBM demonstrated leadership in employee well-being as it often has over the past 100 years. Not only did we offer voluntary counseling and testing for employees in South Africa, a country highly affected by this disease, we also implemented a policy of nondiscrimination in hiring and work. As the disease took hold, IBM deployed new strategies with the South African employee and contractor population who desired more individualized interventions. IBM accomplished this through kiosk and intranet offerings in addition to treatment and prevention options. In the space of a year, missed work due to HIV dropped from 25 days a year to just three. After a successful pilot program that began in 1999, management approved IBM South Africa’s first HIV/AIDS policy in October 2001.
Over the years, IBM expanded global leadership programs in countries such as South Africa, Russia, Brazil, India and the U.S. For example, in 2005, IBM engaged in a dialogue on HIV/AIDS in the work force with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of nearly 300 faith-based institutional investors that seek a global community built on justice and sustainability through transformation of the corporate world.
In 2006, IBM launched a comprehensive education and training program to build awareness among its employee and management teams about various aspects of HIV/AIDS. Covered topics included how to provide accommodations for affected employees, how to handle potential workplace exposure and the societal impact of the disease. Over the years, IBM has maintained a diligent focus on HIV/AIDS, highlighted by the following achievements:
- Founding member of the first corporate leadership coalition on AIDS
- 1997 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services National Business and Labor Award for Leadership on HIV/AIDS
- 2008 National AIDS Fund Edward N. Brandt Award for Business Leadership (for support of key initiatives since the 1990s)
More recently, HIV/AIDS has been identified as a major public health concern in China. With an estimated population of 740,000 with HIV/AIDS, China faces huge challenges in preventing transmission of HIV/AIDS into the general population and in treating infected people. And with treatment costing as much as $6,000 a year, HIV/AIDS is a significant financial problem for all people with the disease.
The Chinese government has shown increasing levels of commitment to controlling HIV/AIDS, and a growing number of international organizations, foundations and civil society groups, as well as corporations, are actively contributing to the AIDS response in China. Recognizing the evolving HIV/AIDS issue and the need for action, IBM China introduced HIV/AIDS coverage in corporate medical insurance in 2007, a time when HIV/AIDS coverage was excluded by all commercial medical insurance products in the country.
IBM China went a step further by providing equal rights and opportunities of employment to all people living with HIV/AIDS, and promoting information and awareness campaigns to reduce ignorance about the disease and tackle fear and prejudice. Influenced by IBM’s leading initiative, dozens of companies have since included HIV/AIDS coverage in their corporate medical insurance plans, and many more companies are considering covering HIV/AIDS. In the future, HIV/AIDS coverage could be a component of a commercial medical insurance product in China.
After IBM began to offer personalized HIV treatment and prevention options via information kiosk and intranet offerings in South Africa, missed work due to HIV dropped from 25 days a year to three.
Child Health Initiative (Rebate)
Today’s children constitute the work force of tomorrow. Diagnoses of illnesses attributable to obesity (e.g., hypertension, diabetes and depression) are no longer confined to adults. And these illnesses are taking a heavy toll on healthcare services.
In 2010, Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, published an article entitled “An Observational Study of an Employer Intervention for Children’s Healthy Weight Behaviors,” co-authored by Dr. Martin Sepúlveda, IBM Fellow & Vice President, Integrated Health Services, and colleagues. The article evaluated IBM’s leadership in improved healthy lifestyles through our IBM Children’s Health Rebate program.
The Children’s Health Rebate is one of four cash-incentive Healthy Living Rebates in the U.S. It was designed to reward good nutrition and physical activity for the entire family, which is key to helping children develop healthy habits for a lifetime. This initiative reflects the growing national concern over children’s health, as the demands on families and children in today’s home, school and work environments continue to grow.
The Children’s Health Rebate aims to help parents and families aid children in the maintenance of healthy weight. IBM created this unique, action-oriented program by combining recommendations from leading experts with simple activities in which the whole family can participate. The program addresses four key focus areas over 12 weeks (see below). All U.S. employees are eligible for the program.
- Complete a brief family inventory to identify current eating and physical activity patterns within the family.
- Set family action goals, such as preparing healthy meals together or engaging in outdoor physical activities.
- Identify success by completing the family inventory again after 12 weeks.
Families also received education materials, including the book Family Power by Karen Miller Kovach from Weight Watchers, online resources, quick family recipes and more. A $150 cash rebate is earned upon completion of the program.
The results of this short-term observation study suggest that healthy weight behaviors in children, adolescents and parents can be improved by using a Web-based intervention linked with a cash-incentive program. The results also show that employers can activate parents and support a role for employers in community-based strategies for obesity prevention in children. Experimental designs with biometric data would strengthen the suggestion of positive impact in this employer-based approach.
The Well-Being Management System
First implemented in 1999, IBM’s Well-Being Management System (WBMS) is a global, centralized system that links the company’s occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, safety, wellness and health benefits, strategic initiatives and programs to IBM’s strategies covering manufacturing, research and development, sales and services worldwide. IBM’s corporate policy—Responsibility for Employee Well-Being and Product Safety—is the cornerstone of IBM’s WBMS, which follows the “plan-do-check-act” principles that are common in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) consensus standards. This systematic approach involves a “planning, implementation, evaluation and review” cycle that monitors and audits well-being requirements and improvement objectives. It also provides a process for corrective or preventive health and safety actions.
The management system is implemented throughout all of IBM’s business units worldwide via a tiered structure, with the top tier consisting of activities carried out globally and the second tier organized by geographical unit, location or business line. The WBMS helps align performance improvement with evolving business priorities, while enabling continual improvement in employee health and well-being and control of health and safety risks that can impact business operations. Each year a strategic planning process considers new global objectives, which are then translated into relevant initiatives with the flexibility to accommodate unique well-being and safety requirements at a local level. The system is regularly reviewed for efficacy, efficiency and consistency, with input from management, employees and other external reviewers.
Recognition of Excellence: OHSAS 18001 Certification
External certification of IBM’s WBMS has been beneficial in improving the quality and consistency of global implementation. It has also enabled IBM to fulfill marketplace demands and foster business opportunity, because the company is more readily able to demonstrate its standardized approach to managing employee well-being to clients and potential customers. In addition, certification aligns with IBM’s priority to accelerate global integration via recognized management systems.
In 2007, Bureau Veritas Certification North America, Inc. (BVC) audited IBM’s Well-Being Management System (WBMS) and certified that it conforms with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS)—Standard 18001:2007. This international standard defines requirements for health and safety management systems. IBM is one of the largest organizations to have obtained OHSAS 18001 certification.
In 2010, BVC conducted an extensive recertification audit of the IBM WBMS, resulting in continued global certification to the OHSAS 18001:2007 standard.
”IBM’s Well-Being Management System is a mature system with an excellent performance history. The global objectives are appropriate and there is adequate data available to indicate progress toward meeting these objectives. …. The management system is strongly centralized and with well-defined processes.”Atul Puri
Vice President of Bureau Veritas Certification North America, Inc., from BVC’s WBMS 2010 recertification review
Injury Illness Rates
The following table details the performance results of IBM’s safety programs in a sampling of countries. Global injury and illness data allows IBM to monitor emerging trends aligned with our current business and strategic business growth areas. Because of the changing nature of our business, IBM has determined that the rate for all industries as a comparative norm for 2005 and beyond is appropriate. The company consistently demonstrates low workday case rates (a measurement of injury and illness severity and business impact). The sampling of countries listed below includes IBM locations with a significant employee presence and/or manufacturing locations. The injury rates assume an average of 2,000 hours worked per employee per year. Singapore data pertains to injuries with three or more days of lost time. Due to differences in governmental requirements, a direct comparison among countries is not appropriate.
Work-Related Injury/Illness Cases
The charts below represent IBM U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) rates, along with the rates for general industry. These are the rates for total work-related injury/illness cases reported under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act. In addition to lost-time cases, they include cases that required medical treatment or restricted the employee’s work activity. Some numbers have been updated from prior years.
Comparison of OSHA Recordable Rates for Industry
The charts below represent IBM U.S. OSHA Lost Day rates, along with the rates for general industry. These are the rates for total work-related injury/illness cases resulting in a lost workday, and reported under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act. In addition to lost-time cases, they include cases that required medical treatment or restricted the employee’s work activity. Some numbers have been updated from prior years.
Comparison of OSHA Lost Day Rates for Industry
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