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Hawaii Psychological Association
For a Healthy Hawaii
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The Psychologically Healthy Workplace 

Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS) 
2006 Award Winner: Large Business Category

Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS) is one of two major companies in Hawaii that processes and tests an assortment of medical specimens each day and has over 1 million patient encounters each year at forty locations across Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Kauai, Guam, and Saipan. Therefore employee and patient safety are paramount! DLS's core values are evident throughout their company 1) high quality service; 2) employees are our greatest assets, 3) innovation, 4) Financial responsible and cost effective, 5) Customer Focus, and 6) Integrity.

DSL does an outstanding job making sure physical injury is prevented. Beyond the standard safety precaution, there is a "culture of safety" that permeates DLS. There are various safety committees (Needle Safety, Fleet Safety, Ergonomics, etc.) that are comprised of both line employees and managers. These proactive groups have been able to address needs of departments before "problems/injuries" occur. 

DLS's safety ergonomics committee recognized that the furniture for this department would need to be changed and proactively ordered new furniture before any work comp injuries occurred. This same department instituted exercise breaks twice daily with the leading of the exercises being rotated among the department members; this is to minimize potential injuries from their stationary jobs. 

Frequently massage therapists are brought in and a room is provided for privacy and relaxation. Most recently billing department employees were provided free massages, paid for by DLS, to acknowledge the stress the department are been as they transition to a new billing system.

The ergonomics committee is an outstanding committee providing exceptional guidance to DLS. Simple, yet incredibly important solutions to potentially harmful situations have been avoided. Employees have a strong voice within the company as evidenced by their getting involved in the selection of vehicles for the fleet. DLS had the first fleet with airbags in the island. With 50+ DLS vehicles on the road every day, safe driving is a must. DLS has a safe driver program that each driver has to attend when hired. The DLS trainer for this program was trained to become a trainer at the National Safety Council. In addition to the initial training, each driver must get refresher training every two years. 

DLS is committed to developing their employee's career; employees develop and revisit annually their career development plan. Promotion within the company is highly regarded and should an employee be interested in another position in another department, they are actively supported; they are allowed to "job shadow" so the employee can get a better understanding of the job responsibilities and work environment. All employees are allowed 16 hours of educational leave and reimbursement for their training annually.

There are numerous examples of practices at DLS that speak to their commitment to psychological injury prevention. Annual employee satisfaction surveys are conducted to inquire from the employees what they want to enhance their work experience. These survey results are taken seriously. This past year employees raised a concern about communication within the company; which resulted in a quarterly general meeting with the top administration, monthly newsletters, and suggestion boxes. DLS retains an Ombudsman who has free range to consult with departments that request his assistance. DLS has an EAP program which they encourage their employees to utilize; this EAP program is also available for all employees' household members.

DLS is mindful of family and provides each employee with Paid Time Off (PTO); PTO may be used for dental/doctor appointments, parent/teacher conference, and other personal time off needs. Employees can also donate their hours to co-workers either caring for seriously or terminally ill family members, or they themselves if faced with a serious illness. Perhaps what sets DLS apart is their active support and acknowledgement of their employee's personal challenges. When their Guam employees were gravely impacted by a hurricane; DLS not only gave each employee a $500 loan to help which they ultimately forgave the employees from having to pay back, they also provided a washer and dryer at the work site (as it still had electricity, whereas most the of island did not), to allow their employees to bring in their laundry to do.

Free testing for indigent and homeless populations is one of DLS's outstanding community involvements. DLS provides free testing to all of the major health care institutions serving this segment of our community; thus saving the state more than $100,000 each year in testing coasts. Other examples include charity walks, fundraisers and financially contributing thousands of dollars to Aloha United Way, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, and the Aloha Medical Mission.

Hawaii Psychological Association
P.O. Box 833
Honolulu, Hawaii 96808
ph: (808) 521-8995

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