You don’t have to run a healthcare business to find value in offering your employees biometric health screenings. In fact, companies all over the U.S. are taking an active role in supporting their employees’ health, and in addition to better overall wellness, they’re finding that it’s paying off for the business, too.
One study revealed that 45 companies that were dedicated to employee wellness actually outperformed hundreds of the largest U.S. companies in the stock market. Don’t you want your company to get there, too? Biometric health screenings are a great place to start.
Traditional biometric health screenings involve measuring a person’s cholesterol and body mass index (BMI), among other things, but your company’s health screening should include a bit more. Make sure the following measurements are included in your health assessment:
- Cholesterol (total, HDL, and LDL)
- Systolic Blood Pressure
- Diastolic Blood Pressure
- Body Composition (BMI or Body Fat %)
- Fasting Glucose (blood sugar)
- Waist Circumference
- Tobacco Use
- Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone
Aside from hiring a professional to come to your workplace and host an on-site health screening for the biometrics and tests above, there are some other best practices to ensure your company screening is as valuable as possible. Read on to discover the big picture of biometric data and what it takes to get it right.
Give It Your All
As with most changes in the workplace, employees are going to be more likely to get on board if they can see that it’s something you are excited about and committed to. You won’t see a large turnout if you push this event to the bottom of your priority list and fail to communicate it to your employees. Of course, you should let everyone know the basics like where it is, when it is, and how they can sign up or prepare, but there are some other things you should do before the screening to maximize participation.
- Let employees know that you’ll be getting a screening, too. This will give them a bit of reassurance.
- Share the fact that it’s company-sponsored. This will show them that you’re serious about the event and that you care about their wellbeing.
- Communicate the benefits of getting the screening done. Not only will they get valuable, personal health data, but the company will be able to use that data to tailor benefits and wellness offerings to better meet employee needs.
- Let them in on the plans you have for the data after-the-fact. It will be hard for them to say no to something that could result in free yoga classes or catered lunches.
- Emphasize that it’s private. Employees will be much more willing to take a health assessment if they know that the c-suite isn’t going to know their results.
Keep It Confidential
As touched on above, the health care information gathered at a screening event is highly personal and quite uncomfortable for most employees. Now, employees may or may not know that when collecting personal health information, employers must by law follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). That is why most companies hire biometric health screening companies or laboratories to collect and analyze the data. This is a set of guidelines that exist to protect patients’ medical records and any other personally identifiable information that’s provided for the purposes of health.
Not only should your organization ensure that you have a HIPAA-compliant wellness portal, but you should also inform employees of that so they’re not afraid to participate in the health screening. You might be wondering what value collecting employees’ health information provides if you can’t even see it. It’s true that with a HIPAA-compliant wellness portal you wouldn’t be able to see the biometric health data for specific employees; however, you would be able to see an aggregate report of the unidentifiable data to be able to analyze trends and act on them appropriately.
Measure & Analyze the Results
A biometric screening offers great personal data for your employees, but they aren’t the only ones who should have access to it. A major part of the reason employers offer these health screenings is not just to provide a free checkup for employees, but to be informed of the health trends in their organization and take the appropriate action. To do this, you need to make sure the data you’re collecting is going into a comprehensive wellness portal that allows administrators to see, toggle, and analyze it.
Take Follow-up Action
Whether in the form of providing relevant literature, videos, workshops, or activities, you need to take action in response to the analysis of the data you’ve now collected and analyzed. This will also serve as an incentive for employees to continue participating in the screening in following years.
Do a large number of your employees suffer from high cholesterol? Unfortunately, many Americans struggle with high cholesterol, but that doesn’t mean it’s to be taken lightly. Housed in the fats in your blood, this nasty, natural substance can lead to problems with blood flow, blood clots, and in the worst cases, heart attack and stroke. The good news is, once you’ve identified that high cholesterol plagues many of your employees, you can take action to help prevent and even reverse it. You might consider rolling out several different wellness efforts to address this issue, such as:
- Expert-led nutrition courses to teach about heart-healthy eating
- Company-supplied heart-healthy snacks in the workplace kitchen
- Regularly scheduled fitness classes to help employees stay active
Keep Biometric Health Screenings Going
Doing this assessment one year is great, but it will be more valuable for the company and its employees if you continue the assessment year after year. This will allow employees to get a snapshot of their progress, and it will allow you to tweak your wellness program accordingly and measure your return-on-investment (ROI).
When all is said and done, businesses still exist to make money. By offering health screenings regularly and tracking the results over time, you end up with a great data set that you can pair with other potentially related company metrics. For instance, think about the trends in your employees’ health next to data like used sick days, money spent on health insurance, employee stress ratings, customer satisfaction ratings, employee retention, productivity measurements, and even revenue. Over time, you may find that your employees’ health and the attention you give it has positive effects on your business.
Have you hosted biometric health screenings at your organization? Tell us how the above tips helped or would have helped you make the most of this offering for both your organization and its employees.