The promotion of health and active lifestyles is a special area of PZU’s social commitment. The Company is committed to providing support to both employees and the society as a whole. For a number of years, PZU has been a partner of half-marathons and marathons. Support is also provided to health care-related organizations: hospitals, clinics, hospices and foundations.
Our daily habits and lifestyle have an enormous effect on how long we are likely to live and enjoy good health. Both physicians and scientists emphasize that by changing our lifestyle we can gift ourselves up to 10 additional years of life. By making a certain number of steps per day, ensuring adequate amount of sleep, taking care of our physical form and correct eating, we can have a real impact in our lives and the PZU Group as the national insurer wants to sponsor, promote and encourage good habits. The company’s new strategy will not only answer the questions about business goals but also reflect the deeper meaning and values underlying our business.
The planned projects are to be based mainly on prevention activities. The main goal of the program is to encourage clients to change their habits. This is why PZU promotes preventive medical testing, involvement in sports and undertakes various educational activities to teach Poles what to do to enjoy better health and long life.
Support for running events
PZU has been successfully supporting mass running events since 2013. PZU’s presence in Poland’s largest and most prestigious events of this type ensures their high quality in terms of organization and a high attendance level.
In 2019, PZU continued its support for running events, which included the 41st PZU Warsaw Marathon; the 18th PZU Cracovia Marathon; the 11th PZU Karkonosze
Marathon, the 14th PZU Warsaw Half-Marathon; the 6th PZU Cracovia Royal Half-Marathon; the 13th PZU Three Mounds' Run, Wolf’s Trail – Cursed Soldiers Memorial Run. Overall, more than 100 thousand people took part in the runs ranging from children’s races to the ultramarathon. The PZU’s cooperation with the organizers of runs allows them to expand the formula of the events by adding more activities, such as children’s races, short-distance runs and make the event more attractive for viewers. The support also allows the organizers to implement yearly programs encouraging the runners to train regularly and promoting active involvement in sports among amateurs. As part of other activities, PZU supports activities promoting health, among others preventive medical testing, diet advice or physiotherapeutic advice. Representatives of the PZU Sport Team running sections also participate in the running events in large numbers. PZU receives data from organizers regarding the numbers of direct and indirect participants in running events and has been able to notice an increase in activity and interest.
For several years now, PZU Zdrowie has been cooperating with the Polish Coalition of Oncological Patients. The activities include cancer prevention education, assistance to cancer patients and their families and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
More and more global companies are recognizing the need to take care of the health of their employees and create a friendly working environment for them. Awareness of this fact becomes common also among Polish employers. Organization of medical events in the company is an important element of the commitment to employees. Studies show that investments in the promotion of health at work bring several times the return in reduced absence costs.
In order to meet the need for health care for employees, PZU uses funds from the prevention fund to finance the “Health Zones” prevention program in work establishments. In involves the organization of health zones in work establishment, which take the form of events lasting from one day to several days, which are to increase awareness of employees regarding their health condition, encourage them to exercise regularly and promote a healthy and active lifestyle. The choice of a zone type is consulted with the employer and adapted to match the needs of the employees. The company provides the necessary medical equipment, logistic and medical support of PZU Zdrowie’s professional staff. This allows employees to take care of their health without having to leave work, make appointments and coordinate visits. The organization of health zones offers the opportunity to prevent and detect diseases in early stages. Based on the analysis of the nature of work, age and gender of employees, specific action programs are recommended to strengthen the health-promoting conduct of employees. The examinations and consultations offered are short, painless and have a positive effect on the efficiency and quality of employees’ work. In 2019, 74 health zones were opened, in which a total of 27,593 medical examinations and consultations were provided and 6,757 people were examined. The zones available in 2019 included “health under control”, “spine under control”, “heart under control”, “cancer prevention”, “diet under control” and “lungs under control”. The zones offered consultations with internists, cardiologists, dermatologists, pulmonologists, orthopedists, dieticians and other specialists. The services included blood pressure measurements, ECG, blood glucose, skin lesions, cholesterol, ultrasound (nipple, abdomen, prostate, thyroid), application of kinesiology tape, spirometric tests, dietary advice, group exercises and educational workshops.
The program is planned to be continued in 2020.
PZU Zdrowie launched a telemedicine office – a compact medical center, which constitutes and innovative alternative to company clinics. The office is equipped with numerous devices, which can be used by a patient himself to make tests: a digital stethoscope, ECG, pulse oximeter, thermometer, blood pressure monitor and a camera for the throat, ear and skin imaging. Then, during a video consultation, the patient discusses its results with a physician and receives the necessary recommendations and where necessary the physician issues an e-referral for further diagnostic tests or an e-prescription. The whole office takes just 4 sqm. A visit in the office offers the comfort of receiving immediate advice and referral to an appropriate treatment path. The whole consultation and examination process takes about 10 minutes and even the busiest employees are able to take care of their health through this solution. A telemedicine kiosk was also put up in the PZU headquarters at ul. Jana Pawła II 24 in Warsaw, where it is currently tested by PZU’s own employees. The employees had the chance to book a visit through the myPZU portal and through a call center. So far, 156 consultations have been provided. According to plans, the number of medical centers where such offices will be available will increase.
At the end of 2019, PZU Zdrowie implemented a project named Virtual Clinic. The goal is to facilitate contact with a physician without leaving home to patients who are unable to visit a clinic for any reason. As a result of the Virtual Clinic, patients are able to ask a physician for an advice remotely, discuss their test results, get a referral for testing or a prescription for medications. Physicians of different specializations are available around the clock and from any location in the world. They can be contacted by phone, chat or videochat. The Virtual Clinic has been created for those with chronic illnesses who renew their prescriptions regularly. After a doctor consultation, the patients may remotely collect e-prescriptions for the medications they take permanently and order them with delivery to a pharmacy of their choice.
The Virtual Clinic is available to all patients, including those without medical subscriptions and the waiting time for an advice is about 15 minutes. This is the first service of this type in Poland.
The launch of the project was preceded by promotional activities, in order to build awareness among clients, since this is a novelty on the market. The first effects are 20 telemedicine visits sold in 2019. As a result of the promotion of this tool, sales of stationary visits also increased.
In 2019, in conjunction with Women’s Day and Mother’s Day the PZU Foundation organized mobile physician offices in which the women working for PZU, during work hours, were able to get selected ultrasound examinations – breast, thyroid or abdominal cavity – free of charge, and get a medical consultation. The examinations were conducted in Łodź, Lublin and Piła.
Number of examinations performed
Prediction model for the flu epidemic
A prognostic model for flu cases has been developed based on the following requirements:
Average effectiveness of the models aggregated at the level of Poland concerning the direction of predictions: 79%.
The development of an effective prediction model for a flu epidemic may contribute to measurable benefits, such as:
Band of life
This is a solution that helps monitor life parameters of patients of a hospital emergency ward. After putting it on a patient’s wrist, the band analyzes the result of the saturation level and pulse and temperature every 10 seconds. The initial measurement autocalibrates the system and sets the norm for the person wearing the band. Bilateral calibration of the device involves collecting measurements over a specified period and calculating the average. In a situation where the averaged measurement for the wearer of the band goes beyond the standards (threshold levels), an alarm sounds and medical personnel is called to assist the person immediately. In addition to its role in prevention, the band also offers the feeling of psychological comfort.
A pilot prevention program supporting the medical personnel was carried out by PZU in the Hospital Emergency Ward of the John Paul II Mazowieckie Voivodship Hospital in Siedlce. The emergency ward was equipped with 50 bands, a computer set and the necessary hardware. The medical staff was trained in its use. A band put on a patient’s wrist measures the pulse, temperature, pressure, saturation and alarms when a fall is detected. The band does not replace medical personnel; patients are monitored as usual by qualified Emergency Ward medical staff. Through the monitoring system, the band communicates with the medical personnel if irregularities arise in the parameters being measured, which additionally increase the safety of patients during their stay at the Emergency Wars.
PZU has consistently supported sports activities among its employees. Every employee can practice his or her favorite sports in the specialist sections of the PZU Sport Team, and in Warsaw and Szczecin they can also use a company gym.