Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Annually, Quest serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States. Our 45,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives.
Quest developed its mental health strategy around two of the company’s three aspirational goals: promoting a healthier world and creating an inspiring workplace. At Quest, our commitment to building a healthier world starts at home with our employees and their families. We recognize that our ability to care for the millions of patients we serve is closely tied to the well-being of our employees, and that mental and emotional health is an essential component of overall well-being – often intersecting with and influencing other aspects of health.
From the company’s CEO on down, health and wellness is a priority for the company. To help address the ever-changing, unique and personal needs of our 45,000 employees and their families, we are taking a multi-pronged approach to support a continuum of mental health and emotional well-being needs. This includes support, treatment, advocacy and education services that are accessible, interconnected and covered by our medical plans. The ultimate goal for our Quest colleagues and their loved ones is to achieve emotional vitality — when one feels a sense of positive energy, empowerment to regulate one’s behavior and emotions and meaningful engagement in life in general.
Our effort to cater to a broad spectrum of mental and emotional well-being needs begins with addressing and dismantling stigmas around mental health—a powerful barrier to seeking help. To that effect, we launched Chill@Work – a branded campaign and onsite movement dedicated to promoting mental and emotional well-being in a positive and proactive way. We engage employees with motivational messaging and offer diverse, simple activities to help manage stress and develop resilience including: daily intention setting, deep breathing, meditation, exercises in gratitude and mindfulness and creativity opportunities. We encourage managers and supervisors to participate in educational webinars that give them tools to practice self-care and empower them to help their direct reports do the same. In addition, our wellness champion network regularly shares key facts and stats about mental health issues and promotes relevant webinars and resources to raise awareness and destigmatize mental health.
By normalizing the conversation around mental well-being and offering resources to our employees onsite, we not only demonstrate our commitment to their overall well-being, but also give them the permission, knowledge and tools to make positive changes for themselves and loved ones.
Ample research shows that practicing stress-reducing techniques to build resilience can help individuals cope with both nonclinical and clinical problems (like pain, cancer, heart disease, depression and anxiety); transform how they respond to life events; prevent relapse in affective disorders; and address the challenges of anxiety disorders. As such, providing opportunities for employees to practice stress reduction is foundational to our strategy. Our onsite coaches lead workshops, disseminate valuable information and engage individuals one on one. They do this by promoting educational webinars and an interactive web-based stress-management program; leading gratitude workshops; and distributing finding balance toolkits. We also developed an e-learning module, CHILL: Quest for Less Stress, that teaches employees simple but meaningful techniques they can incorporate in their daily lives, presented in an interactive “choose your own adventure” format.
Additionally, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Resources for Living, helps employees and their family members cope with everyday stressors like child care, legal matters, elder care, family conflict, grief and loss and offers complimentary and confidential counseling sessions for those in need. We know that early engagement with emotional support and daily-life assistance is key to preventing more serious conditions, so we launched an intense evaluation in 2017 to identify and alleviate perceived barriers to use. Armed with more than 6,000 survey responses, voice-of-the-customer feedback, and root cause analysis results, we developed a plan to better promote the EAP that boosted engagement by 10% and more than doubled that of the national benchmark business. Through our EAP, when traumatic events or natural disasters affect a large employee population (e.g., when several employees lost cars, homes and belongings to the recent hurricanes), counselors come onsite to offer grief counseling and support. Individuals with more severe mental health needs are served by our medical plans, which also recognize and cover emotional well-being at the same level of physical medical needs.
Health care is complex, and Quest’s management recognizes that expecting the average employee to navigate it successfully alone is unrealistic. Therefore, Quest set out to identify places where gaps in care can occur. Research tells us that only a small portion of those who could benefit from mental health services actually engage. We are addressing this with pilot initiatives that will eventually broaden emotional well-being screening through the health-risk assessment portion of our world-class Blueprint for Wellness™ health screening program. In doing so, we aspire to successfully engage more individuals with the right care at the right time and drive further utilization of the valuable resources we already offer. Future initiatives also include collaborations with academic institutions to increase convenience and access to care.
As the world leader in diagnostic information services, Quest uses our unique position and unmatched data to collaborate with leading academic institutions to improve the health of the millions of patients we serve, as well as our own employees. We anticipate that our expanded and collaborative thought leadership, combined with our diagnostic footprint, will improve engagement in emotional well-being programs for our Quest colleagues and their family members. Quest has also sought to replace the one-size-fits-all approach typical of corporate wellness programs with targeted approaches – often in collaboration with leading health care specialists. For instance, an employee with a cancer diagnosis may access Memorial Sloan Kettering’s MSK Direct guided cancer program for guidance or get a second opinion from a top medical expert through Grand Rounds. A busy working parent can tap into telehealth services through Teladoc, while an individual struggling with high prescription drug costs can seek lower-cost alternatives from Rx Savings Solutions. Our unique collaborations may also better connect the individuals we serve to the right care, for the right person, at the right time.
Stephen H. Rusckowski
Chairman, President and CEO