Improving Employee Health Risk Assessment Participation

Improving Employee Health Risk Assessment Participation

Health risk assessments (HRA) provide employers with valuable insights into their employees’ overall health. But if the data is not used properly it can bring insignificant results which may lead employers towards thinking that health risk assessments are not very useful. However, to ensure each employee is fit to do their job most productively and efficiently, HRAs can help employers determine if employees are physically and mentally well enough to meet the expectations demanded of the assignment.

What are the common mistakes employers make while implementing HRA’s in their company?

  • A short assessment: Short assessments do not have detailed information from which employees or employers can benefit in the future.

  • A long assessment: A long assessment might disinterest employees from taking part or completing the assessment.

  • Changing HRA’s in between: Some employers believe that all HRA’s are similar but that is not true. Changing between different HRA’s can give inaccurate results.

Every health risk assessment should be backed up by a healthcare practitioner. The practitioner will be able to ensure the data collection of relevant information and analyze if the assessment itself is gathering all information needed.

Low participation is one of the most demotivating issues an employer faces. Where some employees take the assessment easily, others are hard to motivate. However, a high rate of participation is needed in order to have a true understanding of the health (and perceived health) of the entire office.

Some employees may not participate because they are concerned about the overall cost of healthcare insurance, and possible increased premiums based on health behaviors. Helping them understand how premiums are affected could help them feel more comfortable participating and giving honest and accurate answers. Studies show that sending employees nudges can also be helpful, reminding them of the assessment and how and when to access it. Adiitionally offering rewards and incentives can be useful to drive participation in taking the assessment, and tying rewards to participaton in wellness program components. Ultimately the HRA can be used as a guide for designing your wellness program, and succinct and frequent communication will encourage participation.

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