Studies and statistics backing up the benefit of employee wellbeing programs are plentiful. However, it was a recent study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that offered an additional wrinkle to the benefit of wellbeing programs – the added value brought on by biometric screenings and health risk assessments (HRAs).
“HRAs and biometric screenings are tools that employers can use to gauge particular data points and get an idea of what an employee’s perception of their health is,” said Will Herold, DHS Group VP of Employer Solutions.
That said, HRAs and biometric screenings do not need to be done prior to instituting a wellbeing program or utilizing healthcare data and analytics to improve employee health and save costs. Rather, they can be added later to improve the existing program and, more importantly, continue to give employees information and opportunities to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
How can HRAs and screenings benefit population health and wellbeing programs already in place?
1. Empowered employees
HRAs can help employers get a better understanding of their employee group and what they want and need in their wellbeing programs.
“HRAs allow employers to get high-level data on specific areas that their population is interested in and helps create action items,” Herold said, “An employer can ask questions – not just, ‘Do you use tobacco?’ but instead, ‘How do you feel about quitting tobacco?’”
“These type of questions – which can relate to weight loss, physical activity and more – can inform the employer about whether their population is willing to change and, if so, what strategies are needed to help.”
2. Stronger data
The information received at biometric screenings can compound both the success of wellbeing programs and the level of detail in data and analytics solutions.
“[The biometric screening] can take the ‘perception of health’ and tie it back to what a person’s true health is and their activity levels,” Herold said, “The combination of the screening and a wellness program will tell you if the people who walk more than 5,000 steps per day are actually healthier than the people who are not walking.”
“And with a data and analytics program in place, the data points provided at biometric screenings compound the level of detail and strengthen the information that is already coming in through claims data.”
Having a wellbeing program and healthcare data and analytics in place is the foundation of better population health, but HRAs and biometric screenings are two valuable tools that can help provide data and build a strategy to make that foundation even stronger.
DHS Group offers both health risk assessments and biometric screenings to its HealthSpective Engage and Analyze customers and customers not previously affiliated with DHS Group.
DHS Group’s HRA was developed in-house and, for biometric screenings, DHS Group has partnered with Quest Diagnostics, a nationwide leader with options for screenings on-site, at Quest offices and at your own physician’s office through specialized doctor’s forms.
For more information about DHS Group’s HRAs and biometric screening offerings, schedule a brief introductory call with our team.