HRAs, or health risk appraisals/assessments, are a key component of a corporate wellness program. They are used across the board. It is estimated that over 50% of large companies routinely utilize HRAs on a monthly or yearly basis. Research suggests that health risk appraisals, and consequently HRA follow ups, are effective when used comprehensively with a complete wellness program. These types of assessments basically collect information about an individual in a systematic fashion in order to provide personalized health-related feedback. HRAs will identify possible health risks, promote health, and the information contained could even identify or prevent disease. If your company’s objective is to provide wellness opportunities and health education to your employees, then implementing HRAs will be a significant step towards attaining that goal.
HRAs, as well as proper HRA follow up, are extremely relevant and beneficial to the overall goals of your company. Healthy employees are generally more productive, happier, and more likely to remain loyal to their work. HRAs can also help you find out more about your employee population and what kind of wellness programs and opportunities would best benefit them. The information you gather from HRA’s can help to determine the course for your customized wellness plan and also help you to measure progress along the way.
Health Risk Assessments can also bring potential health risks previously unknown to an employee’s attention. We suggest that if you have an onsite fitness facility, you should require employees to submit an HRA before exercising on the property. This will ensure everyone’s safety and provide you with valuable information about employee health.
You will want to partner with a professional organization, like Wellworks for You, to design and implement your wellness program. We will administer the HRAs to your staff and conduct the proper HRA follow up as well. Implementing HRAs can be simple, but an efficient system needs to be developed. There are some factors to consider.
When choosing a vendor, make sure their goals line up with your objectives.
Make sure ethical standards will be upheld, since medical information is confidential.
Find out what kind of technology will be used. Ask about any technical features and make sure you are aware of what your package includes, as well as what features may cost extra.
Discuss what mode of administration you prefer. HRAs can be conducted onsite and in person, on paper, or online.
Decide who will implement this step, whether internal staff, an HRA vendor such as Wellworks, or someone associated with the employee’s health plan.
HRA Follow Up
HRA follow up should never be neglected. Once each employee has completed and submitted their HRA, the real work begins. Make sure each employee has received their individual HRA report after finishing their assessment. Since this document will contain valuable health information, allow them time to process and read the report. Consider offering a small or large group meeting in which employees can bring their reports and ask questions about the information they see. A qualified health professional should be present to assist them with any concerns or confusion. Most employees will not understand the report clearly, so this is an essential step. Or, you can arrange for one on one coaching with a health coach or advisor. Some employees may wish to discuss their findings in private.
No matter how you decide to format the follow up, don’t neglect it. Proper follow up is really the entire point of conducting HRAs. Once the assessments have been completed, the journey towards better health is really just beginning!